Ellen Lupton

Ellen Lupton

Ellen Lupton is Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. Her exhibitions include “Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master,” “Face Values: Understanding Artificial Intelligence,” and “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision.” Her exhibition “Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics” is open December 2022–August 2021 at Cooper Hewitt. Lupton is the Betty Cooke and William O.

Ellen Lupton
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The Sensory Museum - Ellen Lupton

The Sensory Museum

Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design, Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York

Museums haven’t always been about looking. Early museums in Europe were devoted to walking, talking, and touching stuff. Museums today have the opportu- nity to engage multiple senses and to become inclusive platforms for sharing knowledge and experiences. Ellen will talk about the sensory challenges museums face in the age of the pandemic.

The Senses—Design Beyond Vision

Merit Award 2020
Finalist 2019
The Senses: Design Beyond Vision

Museums are places for community education, yet they are seldom accessible to everyone nor equitable in their presentation of content. Acknowledging the unfortunate truth that visually impaired people struggle to enjoy museum experiences, “Senses: Design Beyond Vision” invited visitors of all abilities to actively engage in the exhibition in ways surpassing conventional “universal design” considerations.


Merit Award 2017

LOOK/HEAR was a student project installed at the Fred Lazarus IV Center Leidy Gallery that explores the relationship between scenes and soundscapes, looking and hearing.

Inside the exhibition, a system of aural and visual signals generates shifting typographic forms and triggers associations about people and environment. The letters respond to a range of ambient recordings made in New York City, from the relative stillness of Central Park, to the clamor of the subway while integrating input from visitors to the exhibition.

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