Emerging Designers


Design Hive is a paid, youth-led initiative at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. High school juniors and seniors dive deep into design objects and processes to develop their own collaborative projects. Along the way, they will learn how designers move from an initial idea to final design! 

In Design Hive, knowledge is co-created. Students share their skills, receive mentorship from working designers, and are offered access to the museum’s exhibitions, objects, and people. The group works together to design a world that is more responsible, equitable, and collaborative.  

Design Hive takes place on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Students must be based in the NYC area to apply. Participants must attend weekly program dates and be available to meet virtually or at Cooper Hewitt (2 E 91st St, New York, NY 10128).  

The program begins on Tuesday, November 14 and ends on Tuesday, May 21. Students will receive a stipend of $2,000 for their participation, paid in two $1,000 payments during the program. 

Applications for 2023—2024 have closed. Please stay tuned for announcements about next year’s program.

Design Hive is made possible with major support from Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation, eBay Inc., The Pinkerton Foundation, and PwC Charitable Foundation. Generous support is also provided by Adobe, The Hirsch Family Foundation, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 


Build your design toolkit! Design Practice is a series of free, drop-in workshops exploring techniques, strategies, and careers in design. No prior experience required—just bring yourself and a creative mindset. Learn to weave, make a print, or just talk to a designer and meet some new creative people!  

This is a monthly series that runs from November 2023 through June 2023. Participants are not required to participate in all workshops. Snacks will be available. 

Recommended for ages 14-18. Stay tuned for event announcements. 

Design Practice is made possible with major support from Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation, and The Pinkerton Foundation. Generous support is also provided by Adobe and The Hirsch Family Foundation. 


Each October, Cooper Hewitt hosts a Design Career Fair as part of our National Design Week celebration. Teens are invited to talk with top designers working in the fields of fashion, product design, architecture, graphic design, and more! Participants are encouraged to explore design careers, discover career paths, learn the complexities of what designers do, and find out what designers love about their jobs. Design colleges from across the country are also available to answer questions. 

Past designers have included Tim Gunn, Cynthia Rowley, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, and designers from Facebook, Ann Taylor Loft, Kenneth Cole, Heath Ceramics, Milton Glaser, Smart Design, Pentagram, Rocawear, and Herman Miller. 

Past design colleges have included Parsons, SVA, RISD, SAIC, CalArt, FIT, and Pratt. 

Details for this event will be announced here. 

National High School Design Competition

Taking place annually, the National High School Design Competition invites students to design a solution to a real-world challenge. Learn more.

Featured Image: Photograph by Angela Jimenez Photography