“Interpretation” is an information design approach meant to help museum goers make meaning out of their experiences. Interpretation teams use storytelling tools to bridge gaps between the infinite stories housed in museum collections and exhibitions, and what a museum-goer might learn about them without prior knowledge. With new storytelling forms emerging all the time, the Interaction Lab is exploring how we might expand our approach to interpretation as we explore futures for Cooper Hewitt’s visitor experience.

For this, our second Interaction Lab event, we’re inviting you to explore with us. Over the course of an evening, three designers will present their respective approaches to storytelling, across graphic design, interactive narrative design, and virtual and augmented reality design. Then, you’ll join the speaker of your choice on an after-hours gallery walk and explore how we might apply these approaches to a reimagined Cooper Hewitt experience.

6:00 – Doors open

6:30 – Talks begin

7:15 – Gallery walks begin

7:45 – Discussion and Debrief

Ellen Lupton is curator of contemporary design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City and director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. An author of numerous books and articles on design, she is a public-minded critic, frequent lecturer, and AIGA Gold Medalist.

Nick Fortugno is an interactive narrative designer, Chief Creative Officer of Playmatics, and teaches game design and interactive narrative design at Parsons, The New School of Design. His work includes the blockbuster Diner Dash, award-winning e-comics for AMC, and interactive story projects for Disney, HBO, A&E, and BBC.

Michaela Holland is an Emmy, Webby, and Sheffield Doc/Fest award-winning immersive storyteller, who combines experimental content with traditional mediums. Her primary interest lies in finding the perfect marriage between narrative integrity and interactive technology and her work has been featured by TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and more.


The Interaction Lab is Cooper Hewitt’s newly launched visitor experience design lab, bringing interactive design methodology to the very heart of Cooper Hewitt’s visitor experience—across digital, physical, and human interactions.

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