About the exhibition

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and its groundbreaking creative technologies will represent the United States at the first London Design Biennale. The Biennale will take place in the heart of London at Somerset House, a center for the arts and culture. More than 35 countries from six continents will present new installations and commissioned works on the theme of Utopia by Design, chosen to honor the 500th anniversary of the 1516 publication of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia. The Biennale will mark the first time Cooper Hewitt’s Immersion Room and Pen will be available outside of the museum and shared with audiences from around the world.

The pen in London

The Pen—made possible with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies—is a global first in museum interactive technology. Presented in 2015 on the occasion of a major renewal of the museum’s campus, the Pen encourages visitors to learn and play as they explore the museum’s galleries and its contents. Using the Pen, visitors to the Biennale will be able to save every country’s design installation throughout Somerset House to explore more in-depth online and share via email and social media.


Creating your own utopia in the Immersion Room

Cooper Hewitt houses the largest collection of wallcoverings in the United States—ten thousand pieces—dating from the seventeenth century to the present. The museum’s Immersion Room encourages visitors to browse the wallcoverings digitally, projecting them onto the walls of the room, recreating the immersive physical experience intended by the designer. With the Pen, visitors can draw their own designs and see them spanning the walls floor to ceiling.

Special thanks

The Immersion Room installation and digital experience at the London Design Biennale is made possible by the Secretary of the Smithsonian and the Smithsonian National Board.

Supported by  
Cooper Hewitt’s digital experience in the U.S. is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies through its Bloomberg Connects Program, a global initiative that helps cultural institutions innovate and engage audiences through digital platforms.

Additional support is provided by Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee.

Installation wallpaper is provided by Flavor Paper and Osborne & Little.
Display platform is provided by Hadley Exhibits.

Featured Image: The Somerset House, London