Design Career Fair

Thinking about a creative career and wondering where to start? Join us for the Design Career Fair at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum! This annual event welcomes high school students to speak with National Design Award winners, guest designers, and colleges on the many pathways toward design. Designers from every discipline, including fashion, architecture, product design, graphic design, UX, and more, will be available to discuss everything from mentorship and college to the future of the field. 

This is a student-only event. The Design Career Fair is focused on youth exploring and experiencing design independently. In order to meet this goal and accommodate as many students as possible, adults are not permitted to attend the event unless they are supervising a group of 10 or more students. If a student requires support from an adult, please e-mail us at or let us know when registering.


  • 3:30 p.m.: Doors open. Check in between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.
  • 3:30–4:30 p.m.: Optional early workshop with leather artisan and designer Mia Wright-Ross. Design and emboss your own leather keychain before the event begins!
  • 4:30–6:30 p.m.: Time for the Career Fair! Students will rotate between tables featuring designers.  Come with questions, explore the museum, and enjoy a snack.


IMPORTANT: Students at the Design Career Fair must bring a copy of the waiver form, signed by a parent or guardian if under 18. You may not be admitted without a waiver. Download and print the waiver here.


  • Location: This program will take place at Cooper Hewitt (2 East 91st Street, New York, NY).  Please arrive through the main entrance. Read more about accessibility at Cooper Hewitt. 
  • What to Expect:  All areas will be fully wheelchair accessible. The Fair will be in a large, open gallery space, and it may be loud and crowded. There will be a Quiet Room nearby, and fidgets and noise-cancelling headphones will be available to borrow. After registering, you will receive a ‘Know Before You Go’ guide with more details about the Fair. 
  • Accommodations: 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. 

About National Design Week

National Design Week celebrates the power of design in our everyday world. Launched in 2006, National Design Week is held in conjunction with the National Design Awards. From October 2–8, Cooper Hewitt’s galleries will be free to enter, and programs will welcome all to engage with design. Join us for the presentation of the 2023 National Design Awards, and visit our calendar for a complete listing of programs during National Design Week.

Special Thanks

National Design Awards Partners

Shelby and Frederick Gans
Helen and Edward Hintz

National Design Awards Sponsors
Alexandra and Paul Herzan
Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer
Crystal and Chris Sacca

National Design Awards Patrons
Kimberly Schuessler
Richard M. Smith and Dr. Soon-Young Yoon
Jon C. Iwata
Agnes Gund
Scott Belsky
Victor Calise
Champions Design
Heller Furniture
Bobby Martin
Thomas Robinson
Margaret Stewart

Design learning at Cooper Hewitt is made possible by eBay Inc., The Hirsch Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, PwC Charitable Foundation, The Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation, with internal Smithsonian Institution funds from the Youth Access Grants for Youth Innovation in Rural America, and public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

National Design Awards trophies are created by The Corning Museum of Glass.