Design USA Exhibit

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

New York, New York



The question – how to celebrate 10 years of the National Design Awards, granted annually by the Smithsonian — framed a unique problem: what form of retrospective could do justice to the dizzying spectrum of objects and stories, from household appliances to couture dresses, that make up the life and history of the Awards? Our answer to that question – how to make a vast and extraordinary collection of objects both accessible and approachable to visitors – was an interactive archive at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Visitors moved through the modular shelving accompanied by a guided tour. The tour was comprised of comments gathered from exhibited designers, creating an experience that was part design seminar and part interactive narration. At the same time the seamless technology allowed visitors to talk back, adding their own comments and questions to the exhibition displays and broadcasting selections throughout Facebook and Twitter.