Designing for Adventure Workshop

Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Skyline Gallery
2121 Children's Museum Drive
Denver, CO 80211 

June 5-6, 2017

Registration         Hotel         Brochure  

This design workshop asks: How can we make exhibits that spark curiosity and holds a child's attention? How can exhibits plant the seeds of surprise and wonder? How can exhibits entice a family to return again and again and keep exploring? For the exhibits team at the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, the idea of adventure encapsulates its answer to these central questions of exhibit design. Unlike other workshops, this immersive program includes a design charrette—an opportunity to collaboratively design an exhibit, get your hands dirty, and gain feedback from colleagues.


Sunday, June 4

Arrival and hotel check-in.

Optional, self-guided visit to the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus (open 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.). Show your workshop registration confirmation for free admission.

6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Optional No Host Drinks (attendees pay for their own orders)

Monday, June 5

Breakfast at the hotel

9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions
Victoria Garvin, ACM
Michael Yankovich, Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus (CMD)

Through an interactive exercise, attendees will reflect on their experiences of adventure. These initial recollections will serve as a starting point for the sessions that follow.

10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Explore the Museum
Michael Yankovich, CMD
Jonathan Goldstein, CMD

On guided tours, participants will examine exhibits that strive for adventure, seeing in the details of real exhibits how this can be done. Participants will be asked to document their observations, thoughts, and questions. After the tour, these notes will be examined for themes and qualities that define experiences that beckon repeat visition.  

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
A Conversation about Designing for Adventure, plus Q&A
Jonathan Goldstein, CMD
Kyle Talbott, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The Children's Museum will describe its design process and strategies. The process helps designers generate and evaluate exhibits with a sense of adventure and helps administrators, educators, and designers work together productively. They will explain the underlying theory and its basis and cover key questions of exhibit design.

12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Lunch and Networking

1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Designing an Exhibit

With guidance from museum staff, participants will design an exhibit with the spirit of adventure for a typical multi-purpose museum space. Working in teams with colleague from other institutions, participants will use the design strategies, and begin producing a small-scale model of the exhibit. Materials will be provided.

4:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Key Insights and Questions

To cap the day, participants will be asked to share their key insights and any questions that linger.

6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Optional No Host Dinner (attendees pay for their own orders)

Tuesday, June 6

Breakfast at the hotel

9:00 a.m.–9:45 a.m.
Final Activity

Participants will engage in a team-building, creative problem-solving, and multi-variable activity that can be used at their own museums. 

9:45 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
Completion of Exhibit Models 

Participants will finish their exhibit models and prepare to present to the group.

10:45 a.m.–11:45 a.m.
Design Presentations Part 1

Each team will give a short presentation of their exhibit design and receive feedback from the group.

11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
Design Presenations Part 2

Continuation of presentations and feedback.

1:15 p.m.–1:30 p.m.
Final Thoughts and Closing

What You Will Learn

  • How to use a toolkit of exhibit ideas that will encourage curiosity, surprise, and wonder at your museum.
  • How to communicate more effectively about exhibit design, so you can have a positive influence on the design process at your museum.
  • How to develop a distinctive and memorable flavor at your museum.
  • How to get people talking about your museum through good exhibit design.

Who Should Attend

  • Designers, administrators, and educators
  • Staff from museums considering new exhibits or expansion
  • Staff from emerging museums
  • Staff from other types of museums interested in new exhibit design strategies

Registration deadline: Friday, May 19, 2017. Register today!