Past Exhibits

Barrique: Wine, Design & Social Change

Sunday, September 15, 2013 - Sunday, October 13, 2013

This exhibition spotlights a wine barrel (barrique) recycling project taking place at Europe’s largest residential treatment center for young men and women recovering from drug addiction and social exclusion. Located in San Patrignano, Italy, the 1,300 residents of this treatment center learn professional skills – including viticulture, wine making, and woodworking – and produce more than 450,000 liters of wine each year, aging it all in 230 liter French oak barrels.

The fact that these barrels can be used for only three years led the community of San Patrignano to develop an innovative design project for the recycling of old wine barrels. They reached out to thirty well-known designers and architects — including Marc Sadler, Karim Rashid, Angela Missoni, and Alessandro Mendini — asking each of them to design a piece of furniture using wood reclaimed from wine barrels. Then, the residents of San Patrignano crafted the pieces of furniture out of old barrels, effectively demonstrating how design innovation can be used to achieve social good.

The furniture crafted in this project was displayed to great critical acclaim at the Salone del Mobile in 2012 and will be on display at MODA in 2013 as part of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “Year of Italian Culture” in the United States.


Join us on October 5, 2013 for Festa Italiana, a special evening celebrating this exhibition and produced in collaboration with the National Italian American Foundation. Tickets are $50 / $40 for MODA members. For more information, click here.

Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation

Sunday, April 14, 2013 - Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation is a retrospective of the renowned architect’s work and a study of the design principles he followed.

The exhibition pays tribute to Saarinen’s brief yet brilliant career, in which he designed numerous corporate, educational, cultural, public, and private buildings, including recognizable icons like the Saint Louis Gateway Arch, the TWA Terminal at New York’s JFK Airport, and Dulles Airport in Washington DC.

The exhibition also breaks new ground by shedding light on a little known chapter of Saarinen’s secret professional life during World War II, when he served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the CIA. This wartime experience helped establish Saarinen as a designer willing to break technological and aesthetic boundaries.

The exhibition is curated by Mina Marefat, Ph.D, an architect, architectural historian and professor at Georgetown University.


Paul Rand: Defining Design

Sunday, October 27, 2013 - Sunday, January 26, 2014

American designer Paul Rand (1914 – 1996) defined design as a unified activity, based on analysis and governed by imagination. Throughout his lengthy career – in which he created some of world’s most successful and recognizable logos such as those for IBM, Westinghouse, UPS, and ABC – his design work was governed by fundamental principles that he identified in his writings, such as beauty, intelligence, repetition, symbol, and humor. Today, designers across the world derive influence and inspiration from Rand’s body of work, acknowledging that he set new standards for graphic design.

Paul Rand: Defining Design will examine the trajectory of Rand’s career in an entirely new way, juxtaposing his iconic designs with discussion of the design principles by which they were informed. In addition, short films, interviews, and examples of Rand’s persuasive writings will further illuminate this legendary designer’s thoughts on the design process.

The exhibition is curated by Daniel Lewandowski, creator of the website

AIGA 100: A Century of Design

August 17 - October 5, 2014

AIGA (formerly known as the American Institute of Graphic Arts) celebrates its centennial year with a remarkable exhibition culled from the organization’s archives. Cutting edge work by esteemed designers like Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Stefan Sagmeister and many more reveals the increasing power, precision and nuance that design brings to our commercial and cultural dialogue. Curated by AIGA medalist and president, Sean Adams, in collaboration with AIGA medalist, Doug Grimmett, of Primal Screen, this unique collection is on view for the very first time anywhere.

Support this Exhibition

To make a gift in support of this exhibition, click this link and select “100 Years of AIGA Individual” or “100 Years of AIGA Corporate” in the drop-down menu or contact Barbara Richardson at, 404.856.5963

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

October 19, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair honors the traveling fashion show that brought European couture fashions to the African-American community.

Organized by the Chicago History Museum and featuring iconic garments by Yves Saint-Laurent, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, and others, Inspiring Beauty demonstrates how fashion became a vehicle for empowerment, pride, and achievement.

Tell Your Story

The Ebony Fashion Fair came to Atlanta for 50 years. Did you attend in Atlanta or somewhere else? We want to hear your story.  What did the Fashion Fair mean to you? With whom did you attend? Do you have photos of what you wore? Click here to share your photos, stories, or audio recordings and to read about others who went to the Ebony Fashion Fair.

Support this Exhibition

In support of this exhibition, we are offering a limited number of garment sponsorships.  With a gift of $2,500 you will have an opportunity to choose a garment in the show to sponsor. For information about sponsoring a garment in the exhibition, click here.

To make a gift in support of this exhibition, click this link and select “Inspiring Beauty Individual” or “Inspiring Beauty Corporate” in the drop-down menu or contact Barbara Richardson at, 404.856.5963


Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair was developed by the Chicago History Museum in cooperation with Johnson Publishing Company, LLC, presented by the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

IB Sponsors

XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design

July 14, 2013 - September 2, 2013

Co-presented by MODA and Georgia Tech’s Digital Media Program, XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design is the first-ever exhibition that highlights the work of women as game designers and artists.

A response to the popular misconception that women neither play nor create video games, this interactive exhibition redefines viewers’ perceptions of what games are and can be. XYZ introduces guests to alternative games that are outside the mainstream and demonstrates their capacity to convey a diverse range of ideas, experiences and emotions.

Click here to make a donation in support of this exhibition.

For information about corporate donations, please contact Barbara Richardson, Director of Development at 404.856.5963 or

Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things

February 23 - May 11, 2014

Hidden Heroes. The Genius of Everyday Things highlights the stories behind the design of 36 ordinary objects that have revolutionized the way we live, such as paper clips, bubble wrap, and pencils.  Organized by The Vitra Museum in Germany, the products showcased in this traveling exhibition illuminate four aspects of their design: innovation, production, evolution and inspiration.

Sustainable Shelter: Dwelling Within the Forces of Nature

January 18 - April 5, 2015

Sustainable Shelter: Dwelling Within the Forces of Nature discusses the techniques through which animals and humans have adapted to differing environments through an amazing diversity of structures. The exhibition investigates the ways that human dwellings extract, use, and discard energy, water and other precious natural resources and reveals innovative new design solutions that can help restore the health and viability of Earth’s natural environment.

Sustainable Shelters is organized by the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota.


Sponsored by:


The South’s Next Wave: Design Challenge

November 11, 2012 - March 31, 2013

The South: home to numerous design talents, both emerging and seasoned. The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) presented The South’s Next Wave: Design Challenge. Part exhibition, part competition, designers of interior spaces were paired with object designers who together created imaginative vignettes throughout the museum.

Curators David Goodrowe and Tim Hobby co-founders of Aesthetic Identity Design™ firm Goodrowe | Hobby™ directed the work of set /interior designers and of object designers in fields from furniture to fashion who exemplified the myriad new directions the Southern aesthetic has taken.

Set/interior designers were paired with object designers to create original vignettes.  “We envision each vignette as a distinct environment with many layers,” says curator Hobby. Each vignette was technologically enabled with the Skovr app, allowing viewers to access facts and video about the designers while in the galleries or from their own homes.

The South’s Next Wave: Design Challenge ran through November 11, 2012 – March 31, 2013.



Skate It or Hang It!? The Evolution of Skateboard Art

Skate It or Hang It!? was held at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) between June 16, 2012 to October 28, 2012.

The exhibition, curated by W. Todd Vaught, examined the visual aspects of skateboarding, a sport important to contemporary youth culture since the 1970s, by presenting a broad range of styles, imagery, and visual expression in skateboard art.

With a broad focus on skateboard graphics—in particular the styles and methods used to embellish skateboard decks—the exhibition appealed to a broad range of skateboarders, designers, artists and to Atlanta’s youth in general.

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