“The Pen” Resources

Here we have collected resources and documentation with the aim of creating an online repository about the Cooper Hewitt’s digital projects.
Do you have others? Add them to the list!

MW Papers and Resources

Strategies against architecture: interactive media and transformative technology at Cooper Hewitt – Sebastian Chan and Aaron Cope, MW2015: Museums and the Web 2015. Published April 6, 2015

Reconsidering searching and browsing on the Cooper Hewitt’s Collections website – Sam Brenner, MW2015: Museums and the Web 2015. Published February 1, 2015

Best of the Web Nominee, Museums and the Web 2015: The New Cooper Hewitt – an interactive museum with integrated online presence built on an API

Best of the Web honorable mention, Museums and the Web 2015: The Digital Pen


The Cooper Hewitt’s transformation 
2011 description of the Cooper Hewitt’s redesign.

Local Projects – Promo video
Promo video on the Cooper Hewitt’s design of interactive experiences by Local Projects, a media design firm for museums and public spaces.

The Pen

How to Video – Cooper Hewitt, March, 11 2015
A promo video showing how to use The Pen when you next visit the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Animation: Aaron Kemnitzer

Designing the Pen – Cooper Hewitt
Description of the Pen.

From concept to video prototype: the early form of the Pen – March 31, 2015 – Cooper Hewitt Labs, Seb Chan
The design process for the Pen explained.

Exporting your visits – May 20, 2015 – Cooper Hewitt Labs, asc

Happy Staff = Happy visitors – May 21, 2015 – Cooper Hewitt Lab, Katie Shelly
On improving the registration station where a new Pen is paired with a new ticket.

Label Writer: Connecting NFC tags to collection objects – June 11, 2015 – Cooper Hewitt Labs, Sam Brenner
How objects labels are connected to NFC tags.

100 days – June 16, 2015 – Cooper Hewitt Labs, Seb Chan
Findings from the first 100 days the Pen started being distributed to visitors.

When the optimal interface is paper: improving visitor information – June 23, 2015 – Cooper Hewitt Labs, Katie Shelly
Marketing and design of the postcard explaining how to use the Pen.

5 months with the Pen: data, data, data – August 13, 2015 – Cooper Hewitt Labs, Seb Chan
Learnings from the first 5 months of use of the Pen

Immersion Room

What it is

Immerison Room on Instagram
Instagram pictures showing how visitors use the Immersion Room.


The API at the center of the museum – November 7, 2014 – Cooper Hewitt Labs, Seb Chan
How Cooper Hewitt used the API to underpin all its interactive experiences, both online and in the galleries.


A colophon for bias

How re-opening the museum enhanced our online collection: new views, new API methods

Tag Writer App


Ticketing website

Redesigning Post-Purchase Touchpoints


Meyer, R., 2015, “The Museum of the Future is Here” (Article)

Pogrebin, R, 2007 “Cooper-Hewitt Is Determined to Expand, Despite a Host of Critics”, New York Times, April 28 2007 (Article)

Rhodes, M. 2014 “An Innovative Museum That Lets You Play the Role of a Designer”, Wired, December 11 2014 (Article)

Lange, A. 2014 “The New Cooper Hewitt”, The New Yorker, December 12, 2014 (Article)

The Verge, 2015, “The Smithsonian’s design museum goes high tech” (Video)

“Funkorama” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), 2015 Tech Times T-Lounge (Video)

NBC, 2014 “Grand Opening of the Redesigned Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum”. Cara McCarty, curatorial director at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, sits down with Roseanne Colletti to discuss the grand opening of the museum after its redesign. (Video)