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The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is now open

Written by
Dana Varinsky

Design geeks, grab your pens! After a three-year renovation, the Upper East Side’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, reopened today. 

Housed in the Andrew Carnegie mansion, Cooper Hewitt’s collection focuses on the way design has impacted daily life over the past 3,000 years. One of two Smithsonian institutions in New York City, the new space is
60 percent larger and gives visitors an immersive, participatory experience. Its 10 exhibits include a look into how tools from hand axes to 3-D printers have extended human capabilities, plus an Immersion Room, where you can project coverings or original designs onto the walls.

Visitors will also get an interactive pen device, which they can use to scan tags on objects in the museum, adding them to a personal online collection. The pen allows museumgoers to navigate interactive displays and create designs at hands-on digital tables. 

And how does a design museum celebrate its opening? By creating its own typeface, of course. The eponymous Cooper Hewitt, a “contemporary sans serif,” can be downloaded and installed via the museum’s website, which, yes, uses the new font.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is at 2 E 91st St at Fifth Ave, and open Monday–Friday and Sunday from 10am–6pm; and Saturday from 10am–9pm. $18, students $9, under 18 free.

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