Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics

December 10, 2021 – August 14, 2022

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
New York, NY

What is design’s role in times of crisis? Communities and individuals come together to aid each other, push for change, and create new spaces, objects, and services. Epidemics—both in the past and in the present—have triggered the discovery of new ways to treat and prevent disease while exposing systemic gaps and failures.

This exhibition features the work of designers, artists, doctors, engineers, and neighbors who asked, “How can I help?” In response to crisis, they created medical devices, PPE, mutual aid, infographics, posters, and architecture. Their creative actions have included open-source collaboration, rapid-response prototyping, hacking, and activism. The exhibition is curated and designed by MASS Design Group with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Architectural case studies and historical narratives will appear alongside creative responses to the current pandemic.

Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics is made possible with major support from Crystal and Chris Sacca. Generous support is also provided by Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer and Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.