Education at Cooper Hewitt

Cooper Hewitt provides an annual audience of over 40,000 K-12 students, educators, families and adults with innovative educational experiences. We enhance the public’s understanding of design and design thinking by creatively engaging them in the design process.


During our major renovation, which will result in 60% more space when we open in 2014, we are offering programs throughout NYC and across the nation, including hosting an average of 30 education programs per month at the Cooper Hewitt Design Center in Harlem. Located at 111 Central Park North, the Center serves over 1,000 community members each month—many of them local families new to Cooper Hewitt and design.


Design Kids and Family Days introduce over 10,000 NYC children ages 5-12 and their caregivers to a range of design activities, including gallery explorations and design workshops.


Inspiring and educating nearly 2,000 adults through over 30 annual programs, our public lectures, conversations and hands-on workshops provide access to some of the greatest minds in the design field. All public programs are streamed live and archived on our YouTube channel.

Design Talks pair our curators and experts in conversation with design leaders including National Design Award winners.

DESIGN [R]EVOLUTIONS spark a critical dialogue on historic design and engage audiences with the Museum’s collection.

Design By Hand a new conversation and workshop series, focuses on international design firms known for hand-crafted techniques.

National Design Awards Winners’ Panel, part of National Design Week, is an opportunity for the public to engage with NDA winners through a moderated panel and audience Q&A session that sheds light the contemporary state of design.


Design thinking enhances 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration and use of technology. Our free programming is compatible with the Common Core standards and can be applied across all K-12 curricula, including math and science. Our nationally recognized programs are offered in 35 underserved communities across the United States.

Design Field Trip is a 90-minute program which includes an interactive exhibition tour and hands-on workshop. Students will explore 5-6 objects and participate in a design focused workshop. All materials and resources are provided. The teacher selected program offering will be the focus of your Design Field Trip.

Design in the Classroom is a free, in-school hands-on workshop reaching 25,000 K-12 NYC students annually from over 200 public schools (80% Title 1) in all five boroughs. In 2013, we piloted the program for national expansion in 5 cities.

DesignPrep offers free in-depth design education programs to over 600 NYC high school students annually, introducing them to college and career opportunities in design, including paid professional internships for top-level students.

Design K12 Professional Development offers intensive week-long workshops that train groups of 25-30 K-12 educators how to enhance teaching through the integration of design into the curriculum. 6,000 students are impacted annually.

Educator Resource Center is a comprehensive online tool with over 400 design-based lesson plans aligned to national standards, providing teachers at all grade levels with resources, videos and a discussion forum.


Featured Image: DesignPrep program in our Harlem space.