Big news from the Cooper-Hewitt today – the Smithsonian’s National Design Museum announced that it has selected New York City-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro as the designers of the gallery and visitor experience for the reopening of its revamped museum campus in 2014. The museum’s primary building is currently undergoing an extensive transformation as part of a $64 million overhaul. The renovation is being led by Gluckman Mayner Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle, who will be taking special care to preserve the historic Carnegie mansion that houses the facility, and New York-based Local Projects will act as a participatory media designer. The ambitious project will aim for LEED certification.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro is known for its visionary designs that range from the High Line park in New York City to the National Mall in Washington, DC. “It is because of their keen abilities to translate ideas and concepts into boundary-stretching design that Cooper-Hewitt selected DS+R and Local Projects as the ideal partners to help re-envision the design of its gallery, visitor and participatory digital experiences,” explained Bill Moggridge, director of the museum.
In collaboration with museum staff, Diller Scofidio + Renfro will design and conceptualize unique gallery spaces with the goal of creating memorable visitor experiences. The exhibition installations will be laced with interactive elements to go against the typical art gallery setting and draw visitors into design stories rather than have them act as mere spectators.
“This project gives Cooper-Hewitt the opportunity to reinvent itself, to rethink museum conventions and the entire museum ‘visit,’” said Caroline Baumann, the Cooper-Hewitt’s associate director. “We’re delighted to be working with DS+R and Local Projects in creating a distinctly contemporary vision that will serve as a model for a new type of museum.”