An Atlas of Es Devlin: A Creative Curriculum

AN ATLAS OF ES DEVLIN: A CREATIVE CURRICULUM

The book and exhibition An Atlas of Es Devlin—on view at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum through August 11, 2024—charts connections across 30 years of British artist and designer Es Devlin’s creative practice. Inspired by the ways Devlin sustains and adapts her artistic process, this curriculum provides resources, prompts, and exercises designed by Cooper Hewitt’s learning and audience engagement, curatorial, digital, and design library teams to foster creative thinking. Whether you’re looking to shake up your creative practice, expand skills, or try something completely new, we invite you to explore these pages and connect with your own creativity. 

Each month, we’ll approach creativity through different lenses and themes, adding new resources. The curriculum will grow and evolve over the course of Cooper Hewitt’s exhibition, bringing together a body of creative strategies and stories. These activities are suitable for all ages and can be done on your own, with a partner, or even with a larger group.

Learn more about An Atlas of Es Devlin.

DECEMBER 2023: A CREATIVE LIFE

Es Devlin's creative life began in childhood. Her constant curiosity has continued throughout her life, driving her artistic process. While Devlin models one version of an artistic life, all of us make creative choices every day. How might we better connect with our creativity?

JANUARY 2024: DRAWING

Drawing is essential to Es Devlin’s creative practice. She draws every day, making quick, rough sketches and longer, more detailed studies. Drawing can be a kind of meditation. How might a drawing practice contribute to your creative exploration?

FEBRUARY 2024: TEXTS

For Es Devlin, reading is an essential first step in translating plays, operas, or song lyrics to designs for theater and music performances. While reading, she imagines a world based on a writer’s language. How might we use texts to spark our own creative thinking?

MARCH 2024: CREATIVE COLLABORATION

A small model of a theater inside a large wooden crate. The theater's stage is a screen showing a purple and pink Es Devlin stage design.
Es Devlin’s artistic practice involves a wide network of collaborators who enrich her work and make it possible at such a grand scale. Exchanging creative ideas fosters stronger outcomes. How might we kickstart or reflect on collaboration in our own lives?

APRIL 2024: IDEATION AND ITERATION

Upcoming

MAY 2024: FORM AND SCALE

A white model of a stage set propped up on a pole. The set is a rectangular glass box, inside which is an office conference room and three human figures.
Upcoming

JUNE 2024: PERSPECTIVE SHIFT

A person with their back to the camera stands behind a table strewn with paper, looking at a wall covered in pages of text and images.
Upcoming

JULY- AUGUST 2024: PARTICIPATION

Upcoming

Illustrations by Hannah Riley