Prototypes serve an important role in 20th- and 21st-century design, particularly in the development of mass-produced industrial and limited-edition objects. Designers rarely make their prototypes available to the public because the work is imperfect, but such samples offer a fascinating look at the design process.

A working model represents the designer’s creative process in three dimensions. Prototype/Production showcases working models to illuminate the vital decisions, thoughts, and approaches that go into creating furniture, lighting, and other objects. The exhibition features works from the Museum’s collection by designers including Andrea Branzi, Wendell Castle, Frank Gehry, Joris Laarman, Gaetano Pesce, and Marcel Wanders. This look into the production process reveals the human touch, as well as successes and failures in design development that can be obscured by manufacturing.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.