Design Camp at Home


While we will miss having your incredible kids in the museum this summer, we can’t wait to bring virtual Design Camp to you—free of charge! We are excited to continue our virtual Design Camp at Home program with brand new themes, collaborations and guest designers. Our 2021 summer sessions are listed below.


At Cooper Hewitt Design Camp at Home, we equip students with the tools necessary to tackle age-appropriate challenges, work collaboratively, and think creatively. Campers master a four-step design process—defining problems, generating ideas, prototyping/making, and testing/evaluating—through a series of fun exercises and design challenges. Each project is carefully crafted to introduce children to design vocabulary, techniques, and processes that will help them in school and in life.

Virtual Summer Design Camp at Home

Registration opens:
  • Monday, April 26 at 10 a.m. for community organizations
  • Monday, May 3 at 10 a.m. for Cooper Hewitt members
  • Monday, May 10 at 10 a.m. for the general public

Important Information Regarding Registration for Community Organizations

Registration opens on Monday, April 26 for community organizations. Community organizations include foundations, nonprofits, libraries, and mutual aid organizations that serve elementary age students. Through these efforts, Cooper Hewitt is committed to serving low-income households that would benefit from a free camp program. Community organizations are responsible for sharing event details with parents/caregivers, as we require each family to register individually through our registration system.

Our Design Camp at Home program is not available as a virtual field trip. We are unable to accommodate large groups. If you have additional questions, please contact our Design Camp team.

Indigenous Innovations

August 9-13
Artist builds a wooden kayak

AGES: 7-9
TIMES: 1:00–3:00 p.m. EST
DATES: Monday, August 9, Wednesday, August 11 and Friday, August 13

Get ready to make a splash as we take this one-week session to the open water! Did you know that the kayak is a Native design invented at least 4,000 years ago? Native people of the Americas have impacted the world through countless scientific discoveries and innovations—including the kayak! Campers will explore the origins of the kayak and traditional building practices to prototype their own kayak design and put them to the test.


In partnership with Native peoples and their allies, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) fosters a richer shared human experience through a more informed understanding of Native peoples. The museum strives toward equity and social justice for the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere through education, inspiration and empowerment. The NMAI cares for one of the world’s most expansive collections of Native objects, photographs, and media, covering the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.

Information shared with the Smithsonian is used according to the Smithsonian Institution’s Privacy Statement


Live instruction will be facilitated via Zoom by a Cooper Hewitt educator on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each one-week session. Registration and participation commitment is for all three days. Self-guided projects are available on Tuesday and Thursday.

There is no cost to participate. One week prior to your first day of camp, you’ll receive additional instructions including a Zoom link, schedule, policies and resources.

If your plans change and your child(ren) are unable to attend a session, please contact the Design Camp Director to cancel your registration at least three days prior to the first day of camp.


For general Design Camp at Home questions, please visit our Design Camp FAQ page or connect with a Design Camp team member. For questions about your registration, or to make changes to your completed registration form please contact our Visitor Experience team.


Design Camp at Home is made possible with major support from Siegel Family Endowment. Generous support is also provided by The Hirsch Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Great Circle Foundation and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.