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cooper hewitt pen close up

Cooper Hewitt Pen

The Pen was introduced as a means of inviting visitors to explore the world of design by engaging in their own design process. In addition to functioning as a drawing tool, it motivates visitors to interact with the museum's exhibits rather than merely observing them through the limited screen of a conventional "museum app."


The result is a device that embodies the very ideas that Cooper Hewitt conveys to visitors. Like so many of the objects in the museum’s galleries, it is the product of a collaborative, international industrial design process, exemplifying how designers solve real-world problems.


Ryan served as part of the industrial design team GE sent to help with the project.

Collaborative Design Process

With the help of Undercurrent, Cooper Hewitt and subcontractors identified Sistelnetworks’ vWand (below), an inventory control device used in health care, as an existing product that met most of the technical requirements. To re-engineer the vWand. GE’s industrial and interaction designers developed a sleek new form, while Sistelnetworks extensively modified the internal circuits and electronics to support new functionality. Undercurrent and MakeSimply, a New York-based sourcing and manufacturing management company, converted GE’s designs into prototypes, then took the final designs to their global partners for manufacturing.


Image Credit: 

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian

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