Building Brainstorm: Exciting Design Exhibition at the Family Museum Print
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Elly Gerdts   
Thursday, 10 May 2012 07:47

Bettendorf, IA – Beginning Saturday, May 19, 2012, at the Family Museum, kids will be able to visit the Building Brainstorm exhibition – a design studio where you can explore what it’s like to be an architect, designer, and engineer. The exhibit will be on display until September of 2012.

Plan a dream home or a dog house, build a skyscraper model, find the best arrangement of an apartment models’ rooms and furniture, construct a structure you can crawl through, and much more. The exhibition introduces children of all ages to the design process, including collaborative problem-solving planning, revisions, and execution.

The studio environment, inspired by the philosophy and aesthetic of mid-century designers Charles and Ray Eames, is filled with architectural plans, photographs, models, and authentic building elements. The show features interactive workbenches and job sites that equip diminutive designers to brainstorm creative solutions for architectural and engineering challenges. Kids will discover the basics of buildings while exploring the process of creating structures that match the needs of the people inside them.


1.       Shape Search Challenge: find basic geometric shapes in complex buildings

2.       Shapes in Buildings Challenge: replicate unusually shaped structures with wood blocks

3.       Inside Shapes Challenge: make your own crawl-through structure to experience curved, angled, and square building shapes from a different perspective

4.       Window House Challenge: experiment with changeable clear, translucent, and opaque panels

5.       Floor Plan Challenge: create the ideal floor plan for a model home, arrange rooms and miniature furniture

6.       Room Design Challenge: create an inspiration board with real samples

7.       Brainstorm Challenge: generate creative designs for imaginary clients (examples: a dog house or a school for skateboarders).

Brainstorm Challenge.jpg: Beatrix Eckert-Chu, 5, and Carmen Milena Lopez, 5, design a home for a unicorn in the “Brainstorm Challenge” area of the Building Brainstorm design and architecture exhibit. Each day, this area presents visitors with a unique “client” for which they design a suitable structure; the girls’ challenge was to design a house for an animal. Their unicorn pad features high ceilings so it can fly, but it does not need a kitchen since the animal can eat grass outside.


Shapes in Buildings Challenge.jpg: Donovan Bembridge, 10, and Ishmel White, 11, design a memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the “Shapes in Buildings Challenge” area of the Building Brainstorm design and architecture exhibit. This area encourages children – and adults – to create buildings from the basic geometric shapes found in structures across the globe. The boys’ design includes an observation platform and skateboard arenas.


Window House Challenge.jpg: The “Window House Challenge” area in the Building Brainstorm exhibit invites kids to test how light and air transform a space by changing out clear, opaque, and translucent panels.


Floor Plan Challenge.jpg: The “Floor Plan Challenge” area in the Building Brainstorms exhibit allows kids to create the ideal floor plan for a model home by arranging rooms and miniature furniture.


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