Cooper hewitt design guide

Design guides are an important extension of Cooper Hewitt’s mission to educate, inspire, and empower people through design, providing both public and private tours of our exhibitions and supporting education outreach programs.

Through discussions with designers, curators, and museum educators, design guides will be immersed in design education and the design thinking process through the lens of current exhibitions and design history. Throughout the year, training sessions will hone skills in public engagement and inquiry, supporting tours that are adaptable and responsive to audiences.


  • Hone skills in presentation and public speaking
  • Build understanding and facility with design objects and design thinking process
  • Educate diverse audiences through object-based learning, inquiry, and storytelling
  • Develop skills to increase accessibility in the museum’s galleries, such as verbal description and touch tours
  • Receive 30% discount in The Shop and at Tarallucci E Vino Café
  • Attend complimentary Education lectures (admission based on program availability)
  • Free or discounted admission to dozens of NYC museums

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Bachelor degree or currently enrolled in a degree program
  • Deliver 4 tours per month and cover 4 weekend tour dates annually
  • Assist Education department with 2 public programs
  • Attend 9 of 12 monthly training sessions

Directions to apply

Email your application materials to with the subject line: 2019 Cooper Hewitt Design Guide, [Last Name]

Attach the following documents:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter (please address the below topics)
    • Explain your understanding of the difference between Art and Design
    • Describe your interest in becoming a volunteer at Cooper Hewitt and the skills you hope to gain from this experience
    • Indicate your interests, skills, and experience with teaching or education

Application deadline – Rolling

Design Guides are selected biannually and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please submit applications to and we will contact you for an interview.

Important Note: Training will be held on the last Friday of each month from 10:00a.m.-11:30a.m. Attendance at this and all other trainings is required.