The New Cooper Hewitt Experience

two silhouettes standing before a colorful glowing display of a repeating orange and green pattern. the pattern is blurred at the edges, as if rushing toward the camera.

Design your own wallpaper in our Immersion Room

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Cooper Hewitt’s renovation now offers you an entirely new and invigorated experience, with interactive, immersive creative technologies at the heart of every visit and 60% more gallery space to explore.

The Interactive Experience

Explore the digitized collection on large touchscreen tables; draw your own wallpaper designs in the Immersion Room; solve real-world design problems in the Process Lab; discover how the Carnegie Mansion worked as house; and understand how donors have influenced the museum’s collection over the last 100 years.

“Play designer” on 4K resolution touchscreen tables, developed by Ideum, and feature specialized interactive software designed by Local Projects. The 84-, 55-, and 32-inch tables use projected capacitive touch technology – the same technology found in popular tablets and smart phones. The ultra-high-definition resolution allows you to zoom in on objects to see minute details like never before.

The Collection Browser is available on seven tables installed throughout all floors of the museum, giving you access to thousands of objects in the museum’s collection, including those currently on view in the galleries. The largest tables allow up to six visitors to simultaneously explore high resolution images of collection objects, select items from the “object river” that flows down the center of each table, zoom in on object details, learn about its history, and related objects organized by design theme and motif. You can also draw a shape that will bring up a related collection object, or try their hand at drawing simple three-dimensional forms.

In the Hewitt Sisters Collect exhibition on the second floor, the People Browser application, focuses on the relationship between donors and objects in the collection. You can navigate by donor, read biographical details and learn about how objects were collected in the early 20th century.

Another screen on the second floor reveals the history of the Carnegie Mansion before it became the Cooper Hewitt. You can navigate the Mansion History application using the original floor plan of the building and browse through architectural details, original fittings and fixtures, and the quirks of the mansion’s original residents.

Preview these experiences in this short video produced by Local Projects.

Process Lab

In the dynamic and interactive Process Lab, you can brainstorm design solutions through hands-on and digital activities. The Process Lab emphasizes how design is a way of thinking, planning and problem solving, and provide a foundation for the rest of the design concepts on view in the museum.

Learn more.

The pen – now available

a telephone on museum display with a label beneath, a hand holding a large black wand, and steps 1-4 for use written in blue bold text

The new interactive Pen further enhances the your experience by letting you “collect” and “save” objects from around the galleries. Carry it in your hand tethered with a convenient wrist strap – it is always ready when you need it.

You receive your Pen with your admission ticket which now contains a dedicated web address corresponding to your visit. To collect objects, simply press the end of the Pen to any museum label. Transfer your collections to the interactive tables to explore them in more detail or add more objects. When you get home visit the web address printed on your ticket, and everything you have collected will be waiting for you. Come back to the museum and keep building your collection, or share it with your friends.

Make sure you give your Pen back on the way out of the museum.

Find out the full story behind the realization of the Pen and how it works.

Immersion Room

The Immersion Room on the second floor uses digital and projection technologies to bring the museum’s collection of wallcoverings, the largest and most significant in North America to life. Browse hundreds of high-resolution digitized wallpapers and see them projected at full-scale, floor-to-ceiling on the surrounding walls. Sketch your own designs, adjust the colors and manipulate repeat patterns, and see them projected on the walls around you. Selected wallcoverings are accompanied by brief audio commentary with designers, who share design insights and inspiration.

Learn more.