Es devlin in conversation with dario calmese

In celebration of her first monographic exhibition, An Atlas of Es Devlin, join artist and stage designer Es Devlin in conversation with Dario Calmese, founder of the Institute for Black Imagination. Together they will explore imagination, memory, and what it means to lead a creative life. Exhibition curator Andrea Lipps will introduce the program.


Program Length: 90 minutes
Interactivity Level: Low to medium
Intended Audience: People curious about stage design, fashion, creative practice, multidisciplinary design, and speculative design.

Museum admission is not included in the program ticket price.


Es Devlin is an artist and stage designer whose multidisciplinary work spans theater, opera, sculpture, dance, arena concerts, and installations. Devlin’s art brings people together—whether in an intimate theatrical setting or a vast stadium venue—to form what she calls temporary societies, united through the experiences she creates.



Dario Calmese is an American creative director, photographer, and design theorist. His work interrogates the mechanisms of cultural production and the ways in which image, environment, and technology shape the lived experience. Spanning across the fields of photography, design, fashion, and performance, his practice aims at repopulating the voids within the construction of historical narrative and identity. In 2019 he launched the Institute of Black Imagination (IBI), a global hub that works to preserve, integrate, and cultivate the Black imagination through innovative and interactive experiences. IBI’s portfolio includes a widely-acclaimed podcast, a powerful online archive, and a forthcoming location at the Oculus World Trade Center.


  • LocationThis program will take place in person in the Lecture Room at Cooper Hewitt (2 East 91st Street, New York, NY). The Lecture Room is on the ground floor of the museum and fully wheelchair accessible. There is an accessible restroom on the same floor. Theater-style seating will be available. Read more about accessibility at Cooper Hewitt.
  • What to ExpectThis program will feature a panel with a slideshow presentation followed by an audience Q&A.
  • AccommodationsFor 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.


This exhibition is made possible with major support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Generous support is provided by Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee, Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer, Kimberly Schuessler, and Morgan M. Schuessler, Jr.

Support is also provided by the Arthur F. & Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation, the August Heckscher Exhibition Fund, the Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery Endowment Fund, Disguise Technologies, the Esme Usdan Exhibition Endowment Fund, the Lemberg Foundation, and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.