Teen Programs


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The design field is exploding with in-demand, 21st-century jobs in product design, interaction design, architecture, fashion, and more! Our FREE programs offer students real-world experiences in design, exploring the many ways designers think and make.

Our hands-on workshops, led by professional designers, will help you build your skills and portfolio. While working on design projects, you’ll also learn about designers’ creative processes, including how they solve problems,

During our studio visits, go behind the scenes at working design firms and see what it’s like to work as a designer. And learn about more opportunities to study design on DesignPrep college tours to local art and design schools.

Past designers and firms include: Tim Gunn, Todd Oldham, Nike, Kate Spade, J.Crew, Google, Van Cleef & Arpels, Marimekko, and many, many more!


Destined for a future in design? If you’re an aspiring young creative professional, apply to be a DesignPrep Scholar and upgrade your design savvy. A free one-year program, DesignPrep Scholars focuses on design education, portfolio development, and building professional skills. This intensive design experience also includes hands-on workshops with professional designers, college tours, studio visits, and the opportunity for paid internship placements.

Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in high schools in New York City are invited to apply. Scholars must commit to a 1-week summer intensive program and weekly after-school sessions.



As part of DesignPrep, teens can earn digital badges. These digital credentials are based on the design skills and knowledge gathered during any one of DesignPrep’s free programs; they can be shared with friends and teachers, and help with college applications.


Join us at Teen Design Fair!

Every year during National Design Week, Cooper Hewitt hosts the Teen Design Fair, where teens are invited to talk with top designers working in the fields of fashion, product design, architecture, graphic design, and more! Explore design careers from professional designers, 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 on hand to answer questions.

Past designers include: 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 include: Parsons, SVA, RISD, SAIC, CalArt, FIT, and Pratt.

National High School Design Competition

Taking place annually and organized in collaboration with Target, 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