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Cooper Hewitt Announces Lineup of 2019 National Design Week Events

Free Admission to the Museum and National Design Week Programs, Oct. 12-19


Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced its National Design Week event lineup, which features action-packed programming for all ages from Saturday, Oct. 12, through Saturday, Oct. 19. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the National Design Awards, Target will offer free admission to visitors of Cooper Hewitt Oct. 12–19 making design accessible to all. Target will also sponsor a series of Cooper Hewitt programming broadening access to the vision and work of the country’s design leaders and inspiring people of all ages to engage with design and design thinking. 

A global platform for design, Cooper Hewitt’s inspiring exhibitions, education programs, events and resources encourage everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Design enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels will participate in free events and programs based on the vision and work of National Design Award honorees, including hands-on workshops led by award winners, intimate roundtable discussions, in-gallery experiences, a design career fair and educator open house.

The centerpiece of National Design Week will be the 20th annual National Design Awards Gala Oct. 17, an evening honoring the 2019 winners. Throughout its 20-year history, the National Design Awards have recognized excellence in design across industries, including Narciso Rodriguez (Fashion Design, 2014), Jonathan Ive (Product Design, 2007), Paula Scher (Communication Design, 2013), Hood Design (Landscape Design, 2009) and Eva Zeisel (Lifetime Achievement, 2005). 

“For two decades, National Design Award recipients have represented the apex of design across creative industries,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “These game changers of the design world join forces with us to champion the power of design to improve lives, taking part in transformative programs in classrooms and communities throughout the country, as well as leading talks and hands-on workshops for all audiences during National Design Week.”

A nexus for all things design, Cooper Hewitt travels to several cities within the year, connecting NDA winners, past and present, to local communities. In November, NDA CITIES will return to Detroit, offering innovative design education programs for students, educators and design enthusiasts alike. In February, NDA CITIES will travel to San Francisco, bringing design education and inspiration across the country, underscoring the critical need for design literacy and broadening the museum’s impact.

All National Design Week programs are held at Cooper Hewitt (2 East 91st St., New York City). To register, visit

Museum Galleries

Saturday, Oct. 12–Saturday, Oct. 19
Cooper Hewitt’s galleries feature a rich mix of historic and contemporary design objects from the permanent collection, special exhibitions and dynamic interactive experiences. Current exhibitions on view include “Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,” “Nature by Design: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” “Wyss Institute Selects” and “Face Values: Exploring Artificial Intelligence.”

Design Career Fair

Tuesday, Oct. 15; 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Free, registration required 

Teens, college students and emerging designers are invited to learn about design careers and education opportunities from National Design Award winners and jurors, guest designers and college representatives. Designers will be available to answer questions about careers paths, discuss the challenges designers face in the studio and share what they love about their work. Individuals with Autism and other forms of neurodiversity are invited to meet with select designers to speak about professional opportunities and inclusive hiring programs from 5–7 p.m.

Educator Open House

Tuesday, Oct. 15; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Free, registration required

Educators will be introduced to Cooper Hewitt’s design resources and programs and learn strategies for incorporating design literacy skills in their classroom.  

Winners’ Salons: 20 x 20

Wednesday, Oct. 16; 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Free, registration required

Cooper Hewitt will celebrate 20 years of the National Design Awards with twenty 20-minute classes, talks and more. The day ends with a celebratory reception and after-hours networking event at the museum.

20th National Design Awards Gala

Thursday, Oct. 17; 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Tables start at $17,000, tickets from $1,700.

Cooper Hewitt will honor the 2019 National Design Award winners with a cocktail reception, dinner and Gala awards ceremony in the museum’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden. Past award recipients serve as alumni co-chairs, amplifying the 20th-anniversary celebration.

This year’s recipients are Susan Kare, Lifetime Achievement; Patricia Moore, Design Mind; MIT D-Lab, Corporate & Institutional Achievement; Thomas Phifer, Architecture Design; Tobias Frere-Jones, Communication Design; Derek Lam, Fashion Design; Ivan Poupyrev, Interaction Design; IwamotoScott Architecture, Interior Design; SCAPE Landscape Architecture, Landscape Architecture; Tinker Hatfield, Product Design; and Open Style Lab, Emerging Designer.

Design Fest

Saturday, Oct. 19; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free, pre-registration encouraged

Cooper Hewitt concludes National Design Week with a day of special programming for all ages, led and inspired by National Design Award winners and guest designers. Audiences of all ages are invited to play designer and tackle design challenges in workshops, learn new design skills and explore the museum.

National Design Awards is made possible by generous support from Target.
Additional support is provided by Design Within Reach, Facebook and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
National Design Award trophies are created by The Corning Museum of Glass. is powered by Behance, part of Adobe, Inc.

National Design Week is made possible by major support from Target.
Additional support is provided by Altman Foundation, Siegel Family Endowment and The Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation.

Free admission during National Design Week is made possible by generous support from Target.

About Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum 

Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education programs, master’s program, publications and online resources inspire, educate and empower people through design. An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s largest museum, education and research complex—Cooper Hewitt is located on New York City’s Museum Mile in the historic, landmark Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive design collections—over 210,000 objects that range from an ancient Egyptian faience cup dating to about 1100 BC to contemporary 3-D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Cooper Hewitt knits digital into experiences to enhance ideas, extend reach beyond museum walls and enable greater access, personalization, experimentation and connection. The museum is fully accessible.

For more information, visit 

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