An installation designed by Janice Arnold transforms the beautiful but common greenhouse of the Cooper Hewitt Museum into a magical-spiritual space. The reinterpretation of traditional Mongolian spaces through a more contemporary vision was meant to be a reading room, a discussion space and a meeting point. Meters and meters of stunning contemporary designed fabrics made out of felt and other different materials (wool, mohair, silk, metal, linen, soy, tinsel) were hung from the ceiling connecting it to the walls. The installation is homage to the traditional manner in which felt was made and used hundreds of years ago and the way it is still being made and used in central Asia today. It brings the public closer to the Mongolian culture in very subtle ways. The manufacture of the fabrics and the creation of the installation took up to two years.
In the Mongolian culture making felt is a blessing and the fabrics in this installation have written on them a Mongolian blessing in both English and also its original language. The artist embroidered the blessing in the felt in a subtle and unnoticeable way, camouflaging it with the texture of the fabrics. She was trying to reflect how the blessing is something infused in the making of felt. In central Asia, spaces like this were traditionally used as conservatories for plants.