Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will host National Design Week from Oct. 13 through Oct. 18. National Design Week is a highlight of Cooper Hewitt’s full suite of fall programs, including interactive, hands-on activities, design workshops, an educator open house, panel discussions and master classes with National Design Award winners. National Design Week will culminate with the 19th annual National Design Awards Gala, an evening honoring the 2018 National Design Award winners.

“Attracting thousands of visitors of all ages, National Design Week is a campus-wide celebration offering unforgettable interactions with our National Design Award winners in activities ranging from designing an amulet using upcycled materials to speed-mentoring for aspiring teen designers to dynamic conversations with our brilliant honorees,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt.

With a mission to inspire, educate and empower through design, Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Launched in 2006, National Design Week is held each year in conjunction with the National Design Awards, Cooper Hewitt’s largest and most prominent education program, broadening access nationwide to the vision and work of the country’s design leaders and inspiring people of all ages to engage with design and design thinking.

As part of the museum’s National Design Awards programming, Cooper Hewitt travels to three cities within the year, connecting NDA winners, past and present, to local communities. NDA CITIES connects students, educators and design enthusiasts with design, award-winning designers and museum resources through hands-on workshops, professional development opportunities and dynamic panel discussions. NDA CITIES will travel to Boston (Nov. 15–16), San Francisco (Feb. 7, 2019) and Detroit (spring 2019).

All National Design Week programs are held at Cooper Hewitt (2 East 91st St., New York City). To register, visit

Design Fest

Saturday, Oct. 13; 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Free, Pre-Registration Encouraged

Cooper Hewitt kicks off National Design Week with a day of free museum admission and hands-on activities led and inspired by National Design Award winners and guest designers. Audiences of all ages are invited to play designer and tackle design challenges in workshops, learn new design skills and explore the museum. The day’s activities include gallery scavenger hunts, workshops led by National Design Award winners, a customizable design project with Adobe and activities with Sesame Workshop. Participants will use a Design Fest passport to travel throughout the museum campus and collect stickers after each workshop.

Teen Design Fair

Tuesday, Oct. 16; 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Free, Registration Required

Teens network and learn about design careers and education opportunities from National Design Award winners and jurors, professional designers and college representatives. Students will have the opportunity to speak with top designers working in the fields of fashion, product design, architecture and graphic design, among others. 2018 National Design Award winners and designers from leading companies, ranging from Shake Shack to Bloomberg, will be available to answer questions about careers paths, discuss the challenges designers face in the studio, and share what they love about their work. All teens will receive a ‘design passport’ to document their interactions for the day and receive stickers designed by the designers.

A keynote presentation will feature teens doing extraordinary work in design, including past winners of the National High School Design Competition, organized by Cooper Hewitt in collaboration with Target.

Educator Open House

Tuesday, Oct. 16; 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Free, Registration Required

Educators will learn strategies for creative problem-solving and explore free design resources available online and at the museum. Educators will also learn how design thinking can be used in teaching practice through a hands-on experience with Delta Faucet Company. The company’s industrial team will lead workshops based on a concept faucet inspired by “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision” exhibition, currently on view.

master classes

Wednesday, Oct. 17; 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Free, Registration Required

Cooper Hewitt will offer a day of design exploration, featuring master classes led by National Design Award winners whose work is currently on view. Joe Doucet and Mary Ping will lead a master class exploring their designs for a sustainable dining experience of the future, specially commissioned for “Tablescapes: Designs for Dining.”  Rebeca Méndez will discuss the interplay of humanity, nature and design as examined in the installation “Rebeca Méndez Selects.”

Winners’ Salon

Wednesday, Oct. 17; 1:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Free, Registration Required

Intimate panel discussions with 2018 National Design Award winners will focus on topics such as social good/equity; human experience/built environment; and materials/technology. The day ends with a celebratory reception and after-hours networking event in Cooper Hewitt’s galleries.

National Design Awards Gala

Thursday, Oct. 18; 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Tables start at $17,000, tickets from $1,700.

Cooper Hewitt will honor the 2018 National Design Award winners with a cocktail reception and Gala awards ceremony at the museum’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden.

National Design Awards programming is made possible by generous support from Target.

Major support is provided by Adobe.

Additional funding is provided by Design Within Reach, Altman Foundation, Facebook, Edward and Helen Hintz, Siegel Family Endowment and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Trophies are created by The Corning Museum of Glass. is powered by Adobe.

Media sponsorship is provided by Smithsonian Media.


Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education programs, master’s program, publications and online resources inspire, educate and empower people through design. An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s largest museum, education and research complex—Cooper Hewitt is located on New York City’s Museum Mile in the historic, landmark Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive design collections—over 210,000 objects that range from an ancient Egyptian faience cup dating to about 1100 BCE to contemporary 3D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Cooper Hewitt knits digital into experiences to enhance ideas, extend reach beyond museum walls, and enable greater access, personalization, experimentation and connection. In 2018, the London Design Biennale awarded a medal to Cooper Hewitt for its presentation “Face Values,” an immersive installation that explores the pervasive but often hidden role of facial-detection technology in contemporary society.

Cooper Hewitt is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Hours are Sunday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, accessible without an admissions ticket, opens at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday. The Tarallucci e Vino café is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5 and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street stations), the Second Avenue Q subway (96th Street station), and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. Adult admission, $16 in advance via, $18 at door; seniors, $10 in advance via, $12 at door; students, $7 in advance via, $9 at door. Cooper Hewitt members and children younger than age 18 are admitted free. Pay What You Wish every Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. The museum is fully accessible.

For further information, call (212) 849-8400, visit Cooper Hewitt’s website at and follow the museum on, and