Cooper Hewitt’s Award-Winning Digital Experience Radicalizes Interpretation / by Liz Maurer

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Historic Immersion

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum--the only US museum devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design--has been awarded the Society of Environmental Graphics (SEGD) 2015 Global Design Award within the Interactive Experiences category. The award recognizes Cooper Hewitt’s ground-breaking, interactive media experience, which encourages visitors to experience the design process through the museum’s collections. D&P’s Media Division served as the Audiovisual Integrator for the Immersion Room. 

The Immersion Room, located on the second floor, highlights the Museum’s extensive wallcovering collection, using it as a stepping off point for experiential design. Visitors browse the collection of high-resolution digitized wallpapers from a touch table, and, after making a selection, see the designs projected at full-scale, floor-to-ceiling onto the room’s walls. Visitors flex their creative muscle by sketching their own designs and seeing how they render through the surround projection. D&P’s team brought the experience to life by providing the equipment and seamless interface that enable visitors to experience the immediate satisfaction of creation.

The Cooper Hewitt’s new visitor experience, with The Pen at the center, represents a radical new approach to visitors’ engagement with objects. By blending artifact interpretation with creative expression in a digital environment, Cooper Hewitt and its design and installation team have created a pathway to connect museum exhibits and artifacts to visitors’ real-life practices.