Cooper Hewitt members are invited to the return of Behind the Book Design, a behind-the-scenes look into the design and production of publications for our biggest exhibitions. Join Neil Donnelly, Bud Rodecker, and Kimberly Varella as they share insights into their design process. An open discussion and Q&A will follow with Pamela Horn, Director of Cross-Platform Content at Cooper Hewitt.

Register today and hear from these groundbreaking book designers.

Explore the curated collection of books from this event at SHOP Cooper Hewitt!


Neil Donnelly Studio works in graphic design across media with clients in art, architecture, publishing, and public service. Neil Donnelly Studio has a particular interest in designing flexible structures and systems that grow out of conceptual thinking and encourage deep engagement with content, and their work has been published and exhibited internationally.


Bud Rodecker is a founder and design director at Span and an adjunct professor at DePaul University. His work explores the space between logical constraints and formal play, and balances form with meaning. He strives to cut to the core, simply and with a playful spirit. Before founding Span, Bud Rodecker was a partner at the design firm Thirst with Rick Valicenti and John Pobojewski.




Kimberly Varella is an artist, graphic designer, and founder of the award-winning Los Angeles-based design studio Content Object (founded in 2012). Her work has been recognized by AIGA & Design Observer, American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Book Industry Guild of New York, and Communication Arts, among others. Varella has been highlighted in the New York Times, Cooper Hewitt Design Quarterly, KCET’s Artbound, and AIGA’s Eye On Design. Varella earned an MFA in art from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1999 and a BFA in printmaking and new genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996.


Pamela Horn is Director of Content at Cooper Hewitt. She develops integrated content strategy, interpretation, and editorial systems for publishing accessible content across platforms including exhibitions, books, and digital experiences. She also oversees digital and emerging media. Prior to joining Cooper Hewitt in 2012, she worked for 21 years in trade book publishing, creating illustrated non-fiction imprints that were agile publishing models in the industry.