Sagmeister & Walsh: A Retrospective now open at Design Museum Holon, featuring a new typographic wall piece that uses 10,000 insects

Beauty = Human, site specific wall installation

Sagmeister & Walsh: A Retrospective

June 6 – October 20, 2018

“Beauty = Human”, 2018 Image Credit Shay Ben Efraim

“Beauty = Human”, 2018 Image Credit Shay Ben Efraim

June 2018: Design Museum Holon presents the first retrospective exhibition for New York based creative agency Sagmeister & Walsh, showcasing over 70 pieces from the studio’s recent body of work and taking visitors on a visual and interactive journey of beauty, happiness and emotion in design. At the centre of the exhibition is a new site-specific installation titled Beauty = Human. From a distance, Beauty = Human appears as a highly decorative typographic embroidery piece, showcasing a variety of craft patterns that emulate shapes found in nature. Closer examination unveils how the work is entirely made of over 10,000 colourful beetles, bugs and many other species of insects, transforming people’s misconceptions of bugs by viewing them initially as a stunningly colourful artwork.

“Beauty = Human”, 2018 Image Credit Shay Ben Efraim

“Beauty = Human”, 2018 Image Credit Shay Ben Efraim

This installation compels the viewer to change his/her perception of beauty and humanity,” says Maya Dvash, Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon. “As beauty is found throughout the exhibition, challenging this theme further demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of design.”

This exclusive addition to the exhibition was achieved by bringing 10,000 non-endangered insects of different species from France. Specialists and artists have worked with Design Museum Holon on this piece to make Sagmeister & Walsh’s provocative and imaginative concept come to life.

“The concept of beauty has had a bad reputation for hundreds of years” says Stefan Sagmeister, designer and partner at Sagmeister & Walsh. “Most respectable designers claim not to be interested in it. The shift in the psychological perception of beauty has prompted a decrease in finding beauty in the design of every day sightings such as cities, architecture, and graphics. The goal of bringing pieces of The Beauty Show to Design Museum Holon is to prove to the visitor that beauty is not a surface strategy, but a central part of what it means to be human.”

Screened in the Lower Gallery is the new film “Beauty = Function”, made for Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. This is presented alongside works from the Sagmeister & Walsh’s Assembling and Disassembling category, as well as some ‘Behind the Scenes’ of their works. Presented in the Upper Gallery are five categories – The Representation of Emotions, Creating Worlds, References & Quotations, Letters as Images, and Representing the Body – and selected works from concept exhibition The Happy Show.

Fitting into the overall theme of Sagmeister and Walsh: A Retrospective, the Design Lab features “Uncanny”, a smaller visual communication exhibition that highlights technological and innovative works by Israeli design students. This experimental exhibition is based on digitally creative and anti-disciplinary design concepts and is curated by Noga Shimson, who also curates the “Wheat is Wheat is Wheat” exhibition by designer Peddy Mergui. Located in the corridor, this exhibition puts a spotlight on consumerism and materialism.

Close up of “Beauty = Human”, 2018Image Credit Shay Ben Efraim

Close up of “Beauty = Human”, 2018Image Credit Shay Ben Efraim


Notes to Editor

For press information or high-resolution imagery of the exhibition and Design Museum Holon, please contact Jacob Peres Office: Ariella Nathan,

In October 2017, Design Museum Holon was selected by National Geographic Traveller as one of the 15 must-sees museums around the world.

About Design Museum Holon

Designed by world-renowned architect Ron Arad, Design Museum Holon was inaugurated in March 2010 and has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting developments to emerge in the Middle East. The Museum is part of an urban regeneration initiative that aims to transform the City of Holon into a centre for design. Central to Design Museum Holon’s mission is to supply an enriching and thought-provoking environment for visitors to explore exciting and engaging design ideas, principles, processes and objects in a tactile and practical fashion.

About Sagmeister & Walsh

Sagmeister & Walsh is a creative agency based in New York City. The studio specializes in brand identities, campaigns, social strategy & content creation, commercials, websites, apps, books, environments, and more. Stefan Sagmeister is a designer and art director from Austria. His portfolio consists of creative design projects for the Rolling Stones, The Talking Heads, Lou Reed, and The Guggenheim Museum, among many others. Sagmeister has received two Grammy Awards for his art direction and design, and is also co-director of a documentary “The Happy Film”, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. Jessica Walsh is a designer and art director, creating projects for clients such as Jay-Z, Barneys, The New York Times, Levi’s, and The Museum of Modern Art, among many others. Her work has won most major design awards and has received numerous distinctions such as Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30 Top Creatives Designing the Future”. Walsh’s book “40 Days of Dating” is being turned into a movie.

Jacob Peres Office