Newfields / Indianapolis Museum of Art

NewfieldsClient: Newfields
Project: Custom Design Thinking Workshop
Location: Indianapolis, IN


Newfields (formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art)  is widely recognized for its innovative use of new technologies. For a temporary exhibition, Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas, the team wanted to develop a strategy for digital interpretive tools in connection with the exhibition. The exhibition featured rare concept cars from the early 1930s to the 21st century and visitors were able to explore the process of automobile design through hands-on activities and experiences.


The Museum hired Designing Insights to run a two-day design thinking workshop with curators, educators, designers, and web developers to help the museum begin to answer the question, “How might we help museum visitors understand the car design process?”

We developed and facilitated an intensive two-day workshop that resulted in a strategy and actionable ideas for activities focusing on the car design process. Staff identified visitors’ interests and knowledge around the car design process, brainstormed interpretive approaches, created rapid prototypes, and tested prototypes with visitors in the galleries.


One of the insights resulting from the workshop and subsequent research and iteration was that visitors relate to cars through highly personal narratives and preferences, and the ability to share one’s own stories vis-à-vis cars is extremely important. Staff developed an app that invites visitors to design their own personal “dream cars,” and hands-on activities allowed visitors of all ages to create and design their own vehicles.

Methods from the design thinking process have since been incorporated into the regular exhibition development process in both the conceptual and implementation stages.

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