Sex in Design:
Design in Sex

Designed for your pleasure: The exhibition Sex in Design/Design in Sex opened at the Museum of Sex with exhibition design by James Biber and graphics by Michael Bierut. The show set out to examine the subconscious, as well as the intended, sexual imagery in design as it is found in the objects we wear, live with and use for erotic pleasure. Design work such as Karim Rashid’s multipurpose lounger the Kairotic Karimsutra, Shiri Zinn’s quartz crystal dildo Minx and calibrated dilators by Rhett Butler for Kiki de Montparnasse are on view.

The intentionally austere exhibition design of Sex in Design/Design in Sex puts the objects in a context that more closely resembles the Museum of Modern Art’s Architecture and Design galleries than the Museum of Sex’s previous exhibitions. “This is the first truly uninflected look at these beautiful and occasionally quite strange objects,” says Biber. “And they are at their best in the rather deadpan environment we created. They didn’t need any help from us to look sexy.”

The “condom wall” is one of the Biber-designed highlights of the exhibition. The display features thirty condoms rolled onto acrylic rods that have been mounted on a wall behind which are lights that glow through the acrylic thereby illuminating the individual condoms. “No one really has time to look at condoms as design objects, so we placed them on internally lighted, um, ‘members’ to show off their ‘inner beauty,’” explains Biber.

“This may be the first show at the Museum of Sex for the whole family...well, maybe not,” says Biber. “But in the show nearly all the titillation is in the sex-driven forms, not the pictures and films we are accustomed to seeing there. It may well be the first Museum of Sex show without nudity, but with coffee pots.”