Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 9:00am4:00pm.
North Building

Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge Submission Drop-Off Day

At the DAM, we love inviting our visitors to get creative, and we’re kicking it up a notch this summer with Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge, the museum’s first exhibition comprised entirely of our visitors’ creations. We’re asking you to transform an everyday object or material into something that makes your neighborhood better.

The challenge is an opportunity to step into a designer’s shoes:

  • Look with fresh eyes at the world outside your backdoor.
  • Scout out things that could use improvement.
  • Put your imagination to work and brainstorm possible fixes that could make life better for you and your neighbors.
  • Design a solution, as practical or as fanciful as you wish, and get it ready for display at the DAM.

Pre-register your design and bring it to the DAM on Saturday, July 28, and if you are in line by 4 pm, we’ll put it on display in the Anschutz Gallery in the Hamilton Building for the Open For Design exhibition, opening August 4. Read our checklist (PDF) to help you prepare.

Stay connected while you are working on your submission:

  • Visit the Open For Design FAQs for the full scoop on how to participate.
  • Ask a question in the comments box below.
  • Visit the Facebook event page to see how others are preparing.
  • Join us for a live chat. On July 11, 12:30-1:30 pm, join us online for a live chat about your Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge submission. Ask questions, get ideas, and learn what other participants are working on to prepare for the July 28 drop-off day. To join the live chat, post in the comments box below or on our Facebook event page, or follow @denverartmuseum on Twitter and use hashtag #OpenForDesign in your tweets.


Your submission can be an object, a model, a sketch, or even a photograph of your design in action. It can be flat or 3D. But whatever its form, it has to fit into a 2-by-2-by-2-foot space and not have a pulse or a few other qualities. These items are prohibited; see below the list for guidelines on textiles, fabrics, and wood:

  • Water/ liquids/pastes/gels
  • Plants—living or dried
  • Animals and insects
  • Feathers and fur
  • Soil
  • Food items
  • Balloons
  • Hazardous materials (highly flammable or explosive materials, asbestos, solvents, biohazards, heavy metals, etc.)

Due to the risk of infestation with harmful insects that may spread to other artworks, we ask the following:

  • All textiles and fabrics used must be new and freshly washed or dry cleaned
  • Any wood or lumber used must be clean, dry, and free of bark, and it must show no evidence of damage from termites or other wood-boring insects. This includes small holes or the presence of “frass” – sawdust, insect parts, and insect waste.

Get designing, Colorado! Some ideas to get the gears turning, clockwise from left: Salvage an old teacup and saucer from a garage sale, and turn them into a birdfeeder that brings red-breasted nuthatches to your block. Turn scraps from your garage into name plaques for the trees along your dog-walking route. Sketch up a new use for the obsolete phone booth at your neighborhood convenience store. Make a model of a bus stop that would make public transportation irresistible.