An Infinite Archive: A Conversation with Es Devlin

Es Devlin is an artist and stage designer whose multidisciplinary work spans theater, opera, sculpture, dance, arena concerts, and installations. Devlin’s art brings people togetherwhether in an intimate theatrical setting or a vast stadium venueto form what she calls temporary societies, united through the experiences she creates. Join Devlin and contemporary design curator Andrea Lipps as they discuss how together they developed Devlin’s first monographic exhibition, An Atlas of Es Devlin, for Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum alongside its accompanying publication, published with Thames & Hudson. This conversation will touch on three decades of Devlin’s extraordinary creative works and processes. It will highlight the transformative role of Devlin’s extensive archive in shaping the exhibition, the stories it tells about Devlin’s art, and how she invites public participation in her multi-genre, communal works to encourage profound experiences, both individually and collectively. 

Following the discussion, Devlin and Lipps will sign copies of An Atlas of Es Devlin, which will be available for purchase.

About the Program

  • Program Length: 90 minutes, with optional book signing.
  • Interactivity Level: Low to medium. 
  • Intended Audience: People curious about design, stage design, interior design, theater, dance, music, experience design, storytelling, and live performance. 
  • Visit An Atlas of Es Devlin before the program start time of 6 p.m. Museum admission is not included in ticket price for the program.   


  • Location: This program will take place in person in the Lecture Room at Cooper Hewitt (2 East 91st Street, New York, NY). The Lecture Room is on the ground floor of the museum and fully wheelchair accessible. There is an accessible restroom on the ground floor, accessible via elevator. Theater-style seating will be available. Read more about accessibility at Cooper Hewitt.
  • What to Expect: This program will include an illustrated presentation with slides by the speaker followed by a moderated conversation and an audience Q&A. 
  • Accommodations: The program includes live CART captioning.
  • For general questions and requests for additional accessibility services or accommodations to support your participation in this program, please email us at or let us know when registering. Please make your accommodation request as far in advance as possible—preferably at least one week before the program date when possible.

Special Thanks

This exhibition is made possible with major support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Generous support is provided by Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee, Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer, Kimberly Schuessler, and Morgan M. Schuessler, Jr.

Support is also provided by the Arthur F. & Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation, the August Heckscher Exhibition Fund, the Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery Endowment Fund, the Esme Usdan Exhibition Endowment Fund, the Lemberg Foundation, and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.