Illustration of a field of lughtbulbs—some lit, some not.

Design Thinking

Artists Solve Problems

Design is endlessly trying, refining, improving until slowly something begins to emerge that is so ingenious that it looks like magic if you don’t know what went on before: that’s what evolution does.

– Designer, Joris Laarman

Design is all around us, whether it takes the form of objects and spaces, 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 beauty.

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

Web Quest includes:

  • A scavenger hunt activity, where students identify how objects in the Denver Art Museum collection speak to both aesthetics and function
  • A lesson plan inspired by Basket Chair (includes two videos, a facilitator’s guide and supportive materials for kids to dive into dive into design related concepts)

Print out this scavenger hunt or insert it into the learning management system of your choice to create an interactive activity prompting kids to look closely at the artworks found in the object gallery below.

The DAM established Creativity Resource thanks to a generous grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation. Featured activities are supported by funding from the Tuchman Family Foundation, The Freeman Foundation, The Virginia W. Hill Foundation, Sidney E. Frank Foundation – Colorado Fund, Colorado Creative Industries, Margulf Foundation, Riverfront Park Community Foundation, Lorraine and Harley Higbie, an anonymous donor, and the residents who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Special thanks to our colleagues at the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education. The Free for Kids program at the Denver Art Museum is made possible by Scott Reiman with support from Bellco Credit Union.