Interactive Wallpaper Exhibit

By Jennifer Zheng ’17 and Jiayin Lin ’17

The Immersion Room is an interactive exhibit that allows the viewers to learn about the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s collection of wallcoverings. The exhibit uses technology to help the viewers interact with the collection.

The room used for the exhibit was formerly Margret Carnegie’s bedroom. The Immersion Room has kept the feeling of a home by not removing certain features, like the fireplace. The now transformed bedroom offers a way to experience and view Cooper Hewitt’s personal collection of wallpapers like never before using 21st century technology.

“As an art lover myself, I enjoy how the museum gives us more than just one way to look at and experience art,” said Lin Dan Zheng ’17.

This particular exhibit allows viewers to use an interactive pen to draw and select wallpapers from the museum’s collection to be projected onto the room. The Immersion Room also allows you to custom create your own wallcoverings to project onto the walls. The unique experience encourages creativity for all ages.

“Not only was the wallpaper collection ravishing, but getting to create my own wallpaper was a one-of-a-kind experience that no other museums have been able to offer me,” said Mabel Wang ’19.

This new exhibit comes equipped with a number of wallpapers from the Cooper Hewitt’s personal collection that is paired with audio. These recordings provide the viewers with additional information on a selected wallpaper or designer.

“I’m a very visual and auditory person, therefore it is easier for me to understand a specific piece of art better when there is a recording to go along with it,” said Lily Liang ’16.

The room is much more than just an entertainment exhibit; it projects the wallpapers from the collection onto the walls of the room. The exhibit includes vibrant wall coverings such as the sidewall design titled “Hunt Trophy and Floral Araesque” obtained by Cooper Hewitt collectors, Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt.

Gary Shum ’17 said, “The Cooper Hewitt is extremely different from other museums because it has that interaction between the viewers and the exhibit itself. We are encouraged to interact and play with the art instead of just simply standing there and looking at it.”

The Immersion room’s interactive digital experience was provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The immersive experience was made possible support by Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee. The exhibit can be viewed at 2 East 91st Street.

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