Virtual Tour

Welcome to the Design Museum! We’re glad you’re here. We’re a new kind of museum, so we thought this Virtual Tour would help you learn who we are and what we do.


Bring the transformative power of design everywhere.

We inspire people by showing what’s possible through public exhibitions, events, and content.
We educate people to become creative problem solvers using the design process.
We transform, using design to take action and make change, demonstrating its impact.



Design is for everyone. Design is everywhere, so we are too. We’re online and we pop-up in places all over the city to engage as many people as possible. And we’re committed to improving the diversity of the design field.


Design solves problems. We are entrepreneurial and flexible, we are not constrained by existing approaches, we start with real-world problems and we’re committed to using design for the greater good.


Design is collaborative. We are a participatory museum, meaning there are many ways for individuals to not only enjoy our programming and content, but to be part of it as well. We’re collaborative and community-focused.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Our mission includes taking an active stance against rhetoric and practices that seek to disenfranchise and discriminate against anyone based on their group identities. We strive to support and lead efforts to diversify and foster equity in the design field overall. This work includes taking an introspective look at our own organization and taking steps to address the inequity within. Read our full statement on the museum’s history with DEI and our current and future DEI initiatives.

We believe design can change the world.

Done well, it can elevate our quality of life, make businesses more competitive, and protect our environment.

Everything is designed.

Design is a creative problem solving process — and problems come in all shapes and sizes. Creating a new product is a type of problem, so is figuring out how a business enters a new market, or providing access to clean drinking water. Here’s how we categorize the design fields:

Arts & Apparel



Systems & Strategy



Media & Technology


To focus our work on the most impactful design, the kind of design that changes people’s lives, we inspire, educate, and transform across 12 Design Impact Areas:


Designers see the museum as a source of inspiration and education, but also as a platform for connecting and sharing their thought leadership with a broader community.

Design Enthusiasts see the museum as a place to take their curiosity about design to the next level, interacting directly with design concepts and ideas. They see more than just designers featured in our programming and content, and that makes them feel welcome.

Future Designers see the museum as accessible, interactive, fun, and an important part of their journey into the world of design.

General Audiences are able to discover the Design Museum in interesting ways, and when they do, our programming and content is accessible enough for them to have a unique, meaningful experience.


Design is everywhere. So are we.

We’re redefining what it means to be a museum in the 21st century — we are online, nomadic, and accessible to all. Instead of a single museum location we pop-up all over the city in places where people already go. Whether in a gallery, retail environment, public space, office, or lobby, you can find our events, exhibitions, and programs everywhere.

We do most of our public events & exhibitions in our Branches, cities where you can regularly find our programs. We have 2 main branches: Boston and Portland, and we’re working on starting additional branches in more cities. We also pop-up our programs in partner venues across the country.



Our programs are key initiatives within our Design Impact Areas through which we carry out our mission. Explore all of our programs.


Design is Everywhere

A weekly podcast featuring stories of people and organizations using design to make impact and…

More info


We Design

People. Practice. Progress.

An exhibition designed to explore careers in creative industries features designers of many backgrounds.

More info


Design Together

A collection of design activities, resources, and challenges for all ages (and classrooms!).

More info

Our programs include a variety of offerings:





Executive Education

Youth Education



Now that you know who we are and what we do, it’s time to start exploring the Design Museum and get involved. Here are some handy first steps: