Drop in on Design at Home: hacking fashion | wearables for every body

You might already love your winter coat, but what if you could make it extra puffy with the press of a button? What if you could even add a cooling feature if you get too hot? In this hands-on workshop designed for children ages 5-12, participants will pull inspiration from examples in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection to brainstorm ideas and consider how they can “hack” their clothing to better meet their needs. Then, participants will redesign an article of clothing to bring their ideas to life.


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 are encouraged to bring or wear a piece of clothing that will inspire their ideas for the workshop. 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. Optional worksheets to organize and spark ideas will be provided prior to the program, but you can also use paper and any writing tools to generate and record your ideas.

Suggested Materials to Design a 2-dimensional Prototype

  • Scissors
  • Writing and drawing utensils
  • Paper
  • Fabric scraps

Suggested Materials to Design a 3-dimensional Prototype

  • Scissors
  • Writing and drawing utensils
  • Tape, glue, or glue stick
  • Velcro or other fasteners
  • String
  • Thin and easy to cut cardboard
  • Construction Paper
  • Fabric scraps
  • Any material that isn’t already in use, especially if it will go in the trash otherwise!


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.