Cooper hewitt design guide

Design Guides are an important extension of Cooper Hewitt’s mission to educate, inspire, and empower people through design. Our Design Guides are volunteer experts who provide both public and private tours of our exhibitions and support education outreach programs.

Through discussions with designers, curators, and museum educators, Design Guides will be equipped with design education and the design thinking tools to understand and speak knowledgeably about 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 contemporary audiences.


  • Admission to Cooper Hewitt Programming such as lectures and workshops (admission based on program availability)
  • Regular professional development opportunities to increase accessibility in the museum’s galleries, such as verbal description and touch tours
  • A 30% discount in The Shop and at Tarallucci E Vino Café
  • Free or discounted admission to dozens of NYC museums
  • Access to opportunities organized by the Cooper Hewitt such as offsite “field trips” to other museums and exhibitions as well as onsite professional development training
  • Opportunity to work closely with design objects and design thinking processes
  • Opportunity to connect with and educate diverse audiences through object-based learning, inquiry, and storytelling

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

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

Directions to apply

Email your application materials to with the subject line: 2024 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.