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Email is Dead : the Design Museum and Intuit Mailchimp explore the cultural and emotional impact of the world’s favourite communication tool, and contemplate its future.


The Design Museum’s newest exhibit, Email is Dead, opens from the 28th September through the 22nd October and invites visitors to consider the look, feel, sound, and even the smell of email.

This free, interactive exhibition brought to you by Intuit Mailchimp’s in-house creative agency, Wink, and designed in partnership with creative studio Something Special Studios, examines how email’s impact goes far beyond simply a way to communicate. The exhibition explores how email helps shape our work lives, relationships, cultures and economies. Email is Dead is an immersive experience designed to prompt wider conversations about the future of communication and attempts to capture a 360-view of the feelings and sensations that email evokes.

Email and the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Email is Dead leads visitors through an engaging journey of the history of email from its embryonic beginnings in the 1970s to what the email experience might look like in 2070.

“Now feels like the optimal time to tell this story because there’s been chatter about the death of email for over a decade. And every time there’s a new ‘thing’ like SMS or social media experts speculate on its extinction. And now with the rapid expansion of AI, we found the chatter about the death of email to be even more relevant” explains Intuit Mailchimp’s CMO Michelle Taite, “In fact, with the help of AI, our inboxes are becoming increasingly personalised, helping marketers create meaningful, long standing connections. In essence, email is becoming smarter than it’s ever been”.

The Sound of Email

The bespoke soundtrack in the exhibition space is composed of synthesised compositions that depict email’s daily routine. Whether it’s loose and playful or fast and light, the tracks showcase email’s journey making its way from one sender to another. Only every now and then will guests hear the occasional crescendo of all sounds and steps it takes to send an email i.e. a swoosh, pop, ding, type, click, and send.

The Smell of Email

The exhibition space will be infused with an Eau du Email scent developed in collaboration with Something Special Studios and Tatiana Godoy Betancur to evoke clarity and is carefully crafted from aromatic plants like bergamot, geranium, sage, lavender, and sandalwood known for promoting a balanced nervous system. Much like email itself, scent has the power to transform mood and mindset. This carefully curated scent is designed to replicate a type of lucidity and sense of connection that email can generate as a whole (yet all too often can be lost in the content of emails).

The Look of Email

Wink, Mailchimp’s in-house creative team, has spearheaded the exhibition identity utilising a bright yellow pixel pattern, email iconography with a 3D sculptural lens and a typeface inspired by the first email ever sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. The look is decidedly not “internet”, but rather very much focused on “email”. The exhibition features colourful, interactive displays, inviting visitors to explore email’s impact through activations like burying their own ‘email time capsule’ or being prompted to take an email personality test to discover what kind of emailer they really are.

Imaginary and playful solutions for troublesome real-life situations, such as the dreaded piles of unanswered emails or the temptation to fire off an email that really shouldn’t be sent, are offered in the form of an Inbox Elixir (recipe included) and an Email Therapy Machine. The ever-present nature of email will be brought home through a photo booth that ‘transports’ the subject to absurd locations and prints out a wish-you-were-here postcard. In looking at the future of email, there will be highly imaginative inventions that might tackle some of email's flaws.

“This will be a fascinating exhibition on a form of communication that has revolutionised how people have interacted over the past five decades. We are delighted to be partnering with Mailchimp who have been insightful, curious, provocative and playful in the development of this project” says Tim Marlow, CEO of the Design Museum.


To help mark this exhibit, the Design Museum and Mailchimp have developed some key accessory pieces, capturing some of email’s most iconic phrases like “kind regards” and “hope this finds you well.” There are branded caps, cotton t-shirts, branded drinkware, branded tote bags, A5 notebooks, branded pens, A3 posters, enamel pins, keyrings, and more all available for purchase in the Design Museum gift shop and ecommerce site.

Production Credits

Project Lead
Livia Puggini, Design Museum of London

Curatorial Advisor
Josephine Chanter, Design Museum of London

Interpretation Editor
Esme Hawes, Design Museum of London

Project Manager
Tori Reeve, Design Museum of London

Creative Direction
Intuit Mailchimp

Creative Partner
Something Special Studios*

Event Concept

Executive Sponsor
Michelle Taite, Intuit Mailchimp

Creative Director
Christian Widlic, Intuit Mailchimp

Design Direction
Lauren Coutts, Intuit Mailchimp
Trey Wadsworth, Intuit Mailchimp

Senior Producer
Rebecca Cunningham, Intuit Mailchimp

Austin L. Ray, Intuit Mailchimp

Business Affairs
Hadley Gwin, Intuit Mailchimp

Mark DiCristina, Intuit Mailchimp
Katie Potochney, Intuit Mailchimp

Intuit Mailchimp
Amanda Vance
André M Board
Anna Folger
Bhavyaa Fnu
Carl Vallin
Caroline Albro
Charlie Cooper
Chelsea Jackson
Chris McGee
Christina Scavone
Claire Currie
Curt Mueller
Daniel McVay
EQ Davis
Eric Easley
Greg Shumchenia
Javi Molinos
Jennifer Kwok
Jeremy Jones
Jordan Mergens
Juan Yanez
Kate Arora
Kito Kondowe
LaShanda Jackson
Lisa Nguyen
Luke Webster
Lydia Andrews
Megan Spellman
Nicole Powell
Nikita Patel
Paul Byk
Peter Kehr
Reggie Askew
René Hallock
Steven Ceballos
Todd Mount

Email Contributors
Amelia Dimoldenberg
Athian Akec
Ben Chestnut
Cole Masuno
Dan Angus
Elaine Powell
Joe Gebbia
Kitty Shukman
Max Wiseltier
Michael Bercasio
Michael Goldberg
Ollie Olanipekun
Ralph Insinger
Roz Lewey
Sebastian Conran
Stephanie Drenka
Tim Marlow
Yehor Meshcheriakov

Expert Predictions
Barry Tottle
Claire Witz
Jonah Berger
Lina Gantar
Lizzie Tottle
Vicky Smith

Something Special Studios
Allison Kong
Claire Banse
Cris Martinez
Dalya Benor
Heena Chung
Hope Calnan
Jillian Hoey
Jonathan Katav
Liam Hill
Nikki Brown
Sally Symons
Sam Jayne
Tara Almassi


Intuit Mailchimp is an email and marketing automations platform for growing businesses. We empower millions of customers around the world to start and grow their businesses with world-class marketing technology, award- winning customer support, and inspiring content. Mailchimp puts data- backed recommendations at the heart of your marketing, so you can find and engage customers across email, social media, landing pages, and advertising—automatically and with the power of AI. In 2021, Mailchimp was acquired by Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), the global financial technology platform that makes Intuit TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp. @Mailchimp

ABOUT THE DESIGN MUSEUM: The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary architecture and design. Its work encompasses all elements of design, including fashion, product and graphic design. Since it opened its doors in 1989 the museum has displayed everything from an AK-47 to high heels designed by Christian Louboutin. It has staged over 100 exhibitions, welcomed over seven million visitors and showcased the work of some of the world’s most celebrated designers and architects including Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, Frank Gehry, Eileen Gray, Dieter Rams, Margaret Calvert and Yinka Ilori.

On 24 November 2016, the Design Museum relocated to Kensington, west London. John Pawson converted the interior of a 1960s modernist building to create a new home for the Design Museum giving it three times more space in which to show a wider range of exhibitions and significantly extend its learning programme. Since opening in Kensington in 2016, the Design Museum has hosted major exhibitions including Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, Moving to Mars, Amy: Beyond the Stage, Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street, Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical @designmuseum


Friends & Co Patricia Gill and Belinda Fisher (UK and Europe) | Michelle Auer (North America) | 07977 197 469 | 07808 721 308 | +1 416 550 4047

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