Drop in on Design at Home: Design and storytelling | Reimagining objects for the future

How might we reimagine the objects around us for a future world? Could a piece of clothing help you see into the future, or could a kaleidoscope help you communicate with hidden worlds? In this hands-on workshop for ages 5-12, participants will storyboard, prototype, and think creatively as they redesign objects in Cooper Hewitt’s collection and beyond! This workshop is inspired by Cooper Hewitt’s exhibition, Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro Selects, which explores the power of speculative thinking, storytelling, and the different lives that objects can have.

Participants are welcome to identify one or two objects from their home and have them ready for the program.

Please register for this program here.


This intergenerational program is designed for children ages 5-12, but all are welcome to join.  Participate as a family or kids can join on their own to learn more about the basic principles and elements of design. This is a beginner workshop facilitated by a museum educator. No prior experience in design is required to participate. 


Participants have the option to design a 3-dimensional prototype using everyday materials from their home. If you are interested in prototyping, please collect materials prior to the workshop and have them ready for the workshop. Participation in all activities is possible without additional materials. You can also use paper and any writing tools to generate and record your ideas.

In addition to the material suggestions below, we also suggest identifying a favorite object or two from your home and having them ready for the program.

Suggested Materials to Storyboard

  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Paper
  • A writing tool

Suggested Materials to Design a Prototype

  • Scissors
  • Tape, glue, or glue stick
  • Thin and easy to cut cardboard packaging
  • Found materials like string, fabric, popsicle sticks, or buttons
  • Construction Paper
  • Clean food packaging or to-go containers


This free program will be hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in as well. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. This program includes closed captioning. For general questions, or if we can provide additional accessibility services or accommodations to support your participation, please email CHEducation@si.edu or let us know when registering.

Special Thanks

Drop in on Design is made possible with major support from The Hirsch Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.