Exhibition Design

Exhibitions should be designed based on highlights and lowlights from big box retail stores, living rooms, hotels, casinos, greasy spoon diners, construction sites, dry cleaners, elementary school classrooms, supermarkets, and dilapidated warehouses. To the extent that anything can be exhibited in a museum, every space is in fact an exhibition. The best quality of an exhibition is that they end, and therefore take with them the burden of their administration and “scholarship,” a word that is blindly revered within museum practice. No ideas, just scholarship. Instead of the university classroom, curators and exhibition designers should take cues from theater, where everything is a prop, noise is interruption, and darkness is material.

Remember. When designing an exhibition resist the urge to teach something new and instead try to say what everyone knows in a new, slick way. Also, sometimes the best placement of an object is where it first lands when it gets dropped off. Design the exhibition as if it will be a backdrop to a scene in your favorite film.

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One Comment on “Exhibition Design”

  1. Great note Herb, one of the best from you, so far, ( I think ). Design a show is the next step, it is the installation all ready exist. We just change or move the order of the things.
    As a painter, ” the light is very important” ….( I would like some day have an exhibition where the intensity of the lights will be, at list, similar with those I did my work).
    Sometimes a hole in the wall, makes a big difference.
    The space, the street , the environment, is always something, so all places are good to design a show.


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