While Cooper Hewitt has been closed, the Interaction Lab has been exploring deep questions about how to reimagine our offerings for a physically distanced world. We have the opportunity to meet and interact with audiences in new ways, from the truly global to the hyperlocal. As part of the Lab’s work, we’re gathering information about the kinds of experiences we might create for and with our various communities. We would love for you to be part of the process.

On August 11th, please join us for a conversation about the role of museums and museum experiences in this dramatically altered landscape. What kinds of museum interactions might you seek at a distance and in person, now and in the future? How might we reimagine delivering the work of our museum at a distance or via some kind of hybrid model? If you work in the museum sector, what are you most excited to reimagine first? If you don’t interact with museums professionally, what do you think the sector could learn from other industries or design practice? As we prepare to emerge from the portal, how might we use this opportunity as a springboard for what’s next? 

The program format will be highly participatory, made up almost entirely of small group discussions led by prompts. Throughout that discussion, we’ll document together using digital whiteboard platform, Miro. to create a shared artifact, much like the one we made during our last program, Pandemic as Portal: exploring the in-between. This online repository will remain open and accessible for anyone interested in designing future experiences, and will contribute to the Interaction Lab’s ongoing work.


To document our ideas, we’ll use a digital whiteboard tool called Miro, which we will introduce at the beginning of the program. If you’d like to get a head start, we made a sample board. It’s also possible to participate in the program without using Miro, so please don’t let that keep you away. 


It is critical to create a space where everyone in our community feels comfortable sharing their ideas and experiences. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent focus on systemic racism, we understand that sometimes conversations like these can veer into difficult territory. For that reason, we will share a very straightforward code of conduct with registered participants two days in advance of the program, and will review those expectations together when we meet.


As described above, this program will be highly-participatory, hosted via Zoom and using Miro for visual documenting. Please reach out with questions or requests for services by emailing CHAccess@si.edu or share when registering.

The Interaction Lab is an embedded R&D program driving the reimagining of Cooper Hewitt’s audience experience, across digital, physical, and human interactions. Since its Fall 2019 launch, the Lab has injected new ideas into the museum’s work through internal workshopping and strategy, an extremely successful public program series merging interactive design and museum practice, and a commissioning program that engages the design community as creative collaborators in creating the next wave of the Cooper Hewitt experience.