Design is Storytelling
by Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design In 2017, Cooper Hewitt published my book Design Is Storytelling, which has become a best-seller among design books and has been translated into seven languages. Designers use form, color, materials, and language to stimulate curiosity, helping us understand everything from transit signs to shampoo bottles. Design embodies...
Summer Reading List: Design Book Recommendations from Cooper Hewitt Staff
Whether you’re lying on a beach or reclining at home keeping cool in the air conditioning, these design book recommendations from Cooper Hewitt Staff will pique your interest and dazzle your senses. Patterns: Inside the Design Library by Peter Koepke (Phaidon Press, 2016) Valerie Newton, Manager, SHOP Cooper Hewitt I’m a huge fan of textile...
Hot Poster Summer
Storytelling takes many forms and visual storytelling through poster design is one of our favorites. Found on subways, bus stops, billboards, and bulletin boards, posters can, with one image or a series of images, invite a viewer into a world and indeed a narrative. Be it for a book, movie, play, or even a product,...
A black ink outline drawing with shaded grey washes on off-white paper depicting the early 20th century, neo-Georgian style, sprawling mansion that houses the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, viewed from below as it is almost entirely submerged in turbulent, surging waves, and engulfed by dark, storm clouds.
Engaging in Difficult Histories Through Storytelling and World-Building
By Adriana Burkins, Education Associate How might museums inspire students to think critically about the objects they see and the narratives they read in our galleries? With some states pushing back against incorporating critical race theory into school curricula, how might we as museums and educators help equip students with the tools necessary to engage...
Five Questions with Rachel Ginsberg
Rachel Eve Ginsberg is a creative strategist and experience designer exploring the relationship between information systems, interaction design, and sense-making as the founding director of the Interaction Lab at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Rachel’s artistic work experiments with interactive experiences that drive self-discovery and personal transformation. Did you know… Rachel was born in New...
A catalog spread of futuristic and colorful exposition buildings at the 1964 world's fair.
Playing on Fair Grounds: From World Exposition to Public Park
By Elizabeth Broman, Reference Librarian, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library After a long winter of isolating indoors, many of us are eager to get back outdoors to appreciate our urban open spaces. Several major parks in cities across the United States and beyond owe thanks to World’s Fairs for their creation. A largely bygone tradition...
Length of cotton velvet printed with a large-scale design of naturalistic butterflies. In black, blue, green, red, and white on a yellow-green ground.
Blend Nature into an Urban Setting
Spring has arrived and we find ourselves eager to explore our neighborhoods, parks, and other outdoor public spaces in hospitable warmth. In this design activity for all ages, brought to you by Cooper Hewitt’s dedicated Education team, we invite you to consider habitats big and small with inspiration from previous exhibitions and the outdoors. Get...
A geometric sculpture comprised of mirrors that make a heart shape. The mirrors reflect the lights and sky of Times Square.
Design Reframes Times Square
Written by Jean Cooney, Director of Times Square Arts From its storied X-rated reputation to the first kisses of each New Year and the countless surprise proposals earnestly staged in its plazas and on billboards, Times Square has always been linked to love and desire. For thirteen years, the Times Square Alliance has hosted an...
Five Questions With…Emily Orr
Emily M. Orr is the assistant curator of modern and contemporary American design at Cooper Hewitt. Her exhibitions at the museum include Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer (2021), Botanical Expressions (2019–21), and Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s (2017). Her exhibition experience gives her a unique perspective on Cooper Hewitt’s collection that we are excited to share with you.  Did you know?   She holds...