Thinking About Design

Inspired by the reopening of the Martin Building!

The completely reimagined Martin Building opened at the Denver Art Museum at the end of October. This exciting event is the perfect inspiration to look closely at the design (or redesign) of the building and get creative.

Creating Together

Design is all around us, whether it takes the form of objects and spaces (like the renovated martin building), images and interactions, or systems and processes. Beyond meeting a need, design can experiment with forms, techniques, or materials to be an expression of a concept or of beauty.

Check out this Web Quest, where you can explore notions of design and learn about the design process, a creative problem-solving process. How do artists solve problems? Use these activities and videos online at home or in the classroom to spark curiosity, conversation, and critical thinking.

Experiment with redesigning an object of your choice for different users in this creative challenge.

Thinking Together

Design sits at the intersection of empathy and creativity. It is difficult to separate the content of a work and its form; thus designers have a unique ability to instill beauty into their work in order to stimulate our senses and connect an item to the culture in which it is produced. Great designers find solutions and aesthetics that accentuate value.

Watch this video featuring the Basket Chair by Isamu Noguchi and Isamu Kenmochi and consider the form and function of this design.

How do you think the Martin Building renovation considered beauty and function?

Related Creativity Resources

Four kids posing in makeshift Samurai suit and armor
Thematic Collection

The Art of the Samurai

Suit of Armor and Helmet is a unique object in our collection that looks functional but was actually made in admiration of Samurai’s of the past. Take a closer look at how this suit of armor balances delicate details and symbols of fierceness and consider what faithfulness, loyalty, and dedication might have meant in 18th century Japan.

Young boy pointing at a painting
Thematic Collection

Stepping Back in Time

Activities inspired by The 19th Century in European and American Art

Explore artworks from the museum’s collection by Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Paul Cézanne, Édouard Manet, Willard Leroy Metcalf, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Childe Hassam, and others that tell a story about a complex time in Europe and America.

Brightly colored corpse flowers with pink stems and roots
Thematic Collection

Adventure through the Pink Universe

Activities inspired by Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe

Guide your students and/or children through the Pink Universe with fun activities inspired by Simphiwe Ndzube: Oracles of the Pink Universe. Activities include an artmaking project and a book recommendation.

close up image of tags on blankets
Thematic Collection

Putting It Together

Collaborative artmaking has the power to bond people, cultures, and community. With the opening of the Each/Other exhibition, take a closer look at two of Marie Watts' artworks and discover how they are a gateway to collaboration, sharing, and creativity.

Image of two mannequins dressed in vintage short dresses
Thematic Collection

Playing with Pattern

Visual patterns appear in every aspect of our lives—from the architecture around us to the natural world. Sometimes artists and designers are inspired by existing patterns or create their own to add visual interest to their work. We encourage you to keep an eye out for patterns around you and explore creating your own unique patterns through these activities.