A design guide points to an object on view, engaging visitors in a public tour of an exhibition.

current tour programs

Cooper Hewitt offers 45-minute tours aligned to exhibition topics. Led by our experienced Design Guides, tours will provide opportunities for interactivity and discussion.  

Free with museum admission

1:30 p.m., Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols

* The first and third Friday of  June the Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols tour will be replaced by a special Curator Tour. Please visit our Events page for the Curator Tour listing.


The maximum tour group size is 25 people. Design Guide led private tour fee: $150, plus museum admission 

Any groups over 10 people are required to make reservations. Self-guided tours are welcomed. The maximum tour group size is 25 people. Self-guided tour fee: museum admission 

Reservations are required for all tours. Organizers are encouraged to submit a reservation request at least four weeks in advance.

Request a Group Tour Here


Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols
Private tours offering begin June 12, 2023
From the STOP sign to the laugh-cry emoji, symbols play a critical and ubiquitous role in everyday life. As communication tools designed to break language barriers, symbols instruct, protect, entertain, connect, and communicate beliefs. This exhibition demonstrates how symbol design is a dynamic and collaborative effort through which individuals and communities have created, adopted, and redesigned symbols over time. Marking the 50th anniversary of Henry Dreyfuss’ Symbol Sourcebook: An Authoritative Guide to International Graphic Symbols, this exhibition will feature never-before-seen material from Cooper Hewitt’s Henry Dreyfuss Archive.
Learn more about Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols 

Andrew Carnegie Mansion Tours
Cooper Hewitt is housed in the former home of industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie. Learn about the history of the mansion and its transformation from home to museum.


  • Location: Tours will take place in person throughout Cooper Hewitt (2 East 91st Street, New York, NY). The areas covered are fully wheelchair accessible. Tours will begin in the Great Hall located on the first floor of the museum. Read more about accessibility at Cooper Hewitt. 
  • What to Expect: The tour involves moving through gallery spaces and standing to view the details of the building; wheelchairs and portable stools are available for those who can’t walk or stand for long periods of time. 
  • Accommodations: For general questions, or if we can provide 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.

Please visit Cooper Hewitt’s Plan Your Visit page for up-to-date information on health and safety guidelines. 



Designing Peace Digital Exhibition

Designing Peace
 explores the unique role design can play in pursuing peace. Visitors will encounter a wide range of design responses from around the world that look at ways to create and sustain a more durable peace, and will be encouraged to consider their own agency in designing peace through interactive installations, quiet moments of reflection, and opportunities for practical action.

Willi Smith Community Archive

The Willi Smith Digital Community Archive invites friends, collaborators and admirers of American designer Willi Smith to share in writing his history. This site collects and publishes personal recollections, new scholarship, video, and digital ephemera that contributes to a greater understanding of Smith’s life, work, and times.

Mansion History

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is housed in the former home of industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie. Learn about the history of the mansion and its transformation from home to museum.

For Educators and Caretakers

Smithsonian Learning Lab

The Lab is a free, interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources for your virtual or physical classroom. Create with online tools and share in the Smithsonian’s expansive community of knowledge and learning.

Design at Home

In these short video lessons led by Cooper Hewitt educators, be inspired to solve design challenges.

Design at Home Activity Book

In Design at Home, you’ll get hands-on experience in thinking like a designer. Explore design solutions, relax with a coloring page, and dream up your next big idea. Design on your own or with friends and family—all are welcome!

Featured Image: Cooper Hewitt Design Guides lead public and private tours of Cooper Hewitt's exhibitions.