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Cooper Hewitt: when design is in tune with the times

| Designbest editorial staff



ooper Hewitt, New York is undoubtedly the museum of the future. Cooper Hewitt was originally built in 1897, however it wasn’t until December 2014 when, after three long years of renovations, this museum was finally given a new lease on life. Now, it's an ultra-modern exhibition area extending over four floors, fit for a “twenty first century crowd”: these are the words of museum director Caroline Baumann.  

More than 210.000 ! exhibits, which include both historic pieces and iconic designs: this is the first reason why you should come and take a look. Thirty centuries shown through a wide variety of everyday objects, fabrics and graphics; ranging from prehistoric artefacts to innovative pieces printed in 3D technology. 

What's more, interactive routes and super technological gadgets are another strong point of this museum. For example: the “pen” you are handed at the entrance is not just your ordinary pen, in fact it will help you converse with the entire museum. By pointing at the interactive symbols dotted around, you can first memorize data and then download it onto large touch-screens, on which you can also read, write and draw. Compared to this, apps are a thing of the past.

Are you creative? Yes? If so, you definitely cannot miss the Process Lab, where you can join in various brainstorming sessions about practical design issues. You also have to visit the Immersion Room. Here, by using a digital screen, you can scan through hundreds of wallpaper patterns, part of this museum’s historical collection and then project them on the opposite wall. And this is not all, you can even design your own wallpaper by using either your finger tips or the “pen” provided. In this museum, visitors become designers.

There are more than a thousand different things you can do at Cooper Hewitt; it's impossible not be amazed by this experience. In the magnificent Carnegie Mansion, on the Upper East Side, next to the lake in Central Park, there is a fantastic museum open for all, from philistines to real design enthusiasts and even kids.


Cooper Hewitt Museum
2 East 91ST Street
New York NY 10128
TEL: 212 849 8400


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