Introducing Cooper-Hewitt Labs

Welcome to Cooper-Hewitt Labs.

The Labs is a place where you can discover what is going on behind the scenes in digital & emerging media at the Cooper-Hewitt. Now you might well be asking why the Cooper-Hewitt needs another blog – we’ve got the popular design blog on our site already – so here’s why:

It is going to get noisy here. It might even get a bit messy. And that’s the point.

(There’s a reason we have a tanuki as an unofficial mascot for the Labs.)

There’s going to be a lot of technical posts in amongst others that teardown how experiments have performed. And some speculations, ideas, and things we’d like to do, too.

The Cooper-Hewitt is undergoing a transformation with a major rebuilding project. As a result digital content development, digital outreach, and the integration of digital into the fabric and visitor experience of the new building, are all top of mind for us here. This means that there is a lot of experimentation and rapid change, and in the spirit of the broader Smithsonian New Media & Web Strategy, we are going to be doing a lot of ‘thinking aloud’.

We’d love your feedback and input as we go.

So who are ‘we’?

Seb Chan is the Director of Digital & Emerging Media. He is new here and before moving to NYC lived in Sydney and did many many things at the Powerhouse Museum. He misses good coffee, the cricket, and his previous life in electronic music. You can find out software he prefers to run over at Usesthis. He’ll be writing about specific projects here whilst addressing more meta issues over on his long running museum technology blog, Fresh & New.

Micah Walter is the Webmaster. He likes tacos and Drupal and you’ll be hearing a lot about web technologies from him. Before joining the Cooper-Hewitt he received his MFA in Photographic and Electronic Media from MICA (no relation). Before that he lived on an island in the West Indies, and before that he claims to have been a photojournalist in the Middle East, but says all the photographic evidence is on some hard drive in his closet.

Shamus Adams is Cooper-Hewitt’s A/V guy. He enjoys using cameras and microphones to capture all the words, actions, and objects that surround design and design thinking. Before joining Cooper-Hewitt he was the Assistant Studio Director for Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic in Princeton, New Jersey, Education Director of WYOU Community Television in Madison, WI, and Production Associate at WCSH in Portland, ME.

Katie Shelly is a creative/technology polymath who’s obsessed with collecting skills: video skills, animation skills, web skills, coding skills. She loves to draw, make graphics, make videos, and read tons of design/tech/art blogs. Before working at Cooper-Hewitt, she fixed computers & sold gear for a living and before that she went to Wesleyan University where she thought about cultural theory, queer politics, and how to collaborate with lots of smart people.

Katie drew the header for the blog.

4 thoughts on “Introducing Cooper-Hewitt Labs

  1. Dana Mitroff Silvers

    SFMOMA is also undergoing a major transformation with a building expansion, and, like the Cooper-Hewitt,¬†digital content development, digital outreach, and the integration of digital into the new building are very much on our minds, too. So I am very excited about the launch of Cooper-Hewitt labs! This will be a very relevant and helpful resource, and I look forward t following Seb + team’s thinking.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *