Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Open For Design Submissions Show Coloradans Were Up To The Challenge

This summer, as part of the Denver Art Museum’s focus on design, we challenged everyone and anyone in Colorado to transform an everyday object or material into something that makes their neighborhood a better place, and then bring their design to the museum to be put on display.

Last weekend Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge opened with “oohs” and “awes” as the halls of the Anschutz gallery were filled. Some 165 inspired solutions—from a clothes pin dispenser for the yard to a fully functional lamp made from recycled school auditorium seating – reveal that not only were you up to our challenge, Colorado, you rocked it!

All weekend friends and family came to see one another’s designs. Eighty-year-old Margaret Mandel talked about making her glass rings, above, with a propane torch nearly 40 years ago, and John Glatter described how each door in his fence-art installation had been salvaged from his uncle’s barn and then refinished. From the thought-provoking to the delightful, each design exceeded all hopes in regards to our first entirely community-driven exhibition.

Check out the slideshow of these and some other great designs, and come see all of Open For Design before it closes Sunday, September 2. You might just be inspired to do a little good for your ‘hood too!

Jordan McNamara was the Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge coordinator in the education department at the Denver Art Museum in 2012.