Design Practice | ICONS FOR CHANGE

Design Practice is a series of free, hands-on workshops for high school students. Workshops explore techniques, strategies, and careers in design. Join us for one or all workshops.

What makes a good symbol, and how can symbols, icons, and emoji create change? Climoji are designed to distill the causes and effects of climate change into tiny, potent icons and symbols. As emoji, online and smartphone users might encounter them the same way they encounter smiley faces. 

Join Cooper Hewitt and Climoji founders Marina Zurkow and Viniyata Pany for this hands-on workshop exploring the power of signs and symbols as tools to amplify the environmental justice movement. Participants will leave with their own icon or symbol to use in a poster.  

This Design Practice workshop is designed for high school students aged 14-18.  

About the Program

  • Program Length: 2.5 hours
  • Interactivity Level: High. This is a hands-on workshop where participants will design their own symbols.
  • Intended Audience: High school students interested in graphic design or trying out a new creative process.


Marina Zurkow is a media artist focused on near-impossible nature and culture intersections and environmental messes. She was a 2022 fellow at the Environmental Media Lab, Princeton, a 2011 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, and is a faculty member at NYU. 

Viniyata Pany is an artist and experience designer who creates actionable narratives in the form of sound art, interpretive spaces, interactive installations. She is a graduate of ITP / Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and often ponders silence, insects, and acoustic ecosystems. 


This free program will feature a close look at the exhibition Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols, as well as a hands-on, graphic design focused workshop. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. For general questions or if we can provide 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.


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