What is Exhibition Design?

For MP, I am interested in producing some type of exhibition about Coal Seam Gas and the fracking of the Liverpool Plains.

Here are my notes from the book, ‘What is Exhibition Design’ Lorenc, J. Lee, H. Berger, C. 2010, RotoVision S.A Route Suisse 9, CH-1295 Mies, Switzerland.

‘The constantly moving light is projected against the building and the artefacts inside to create a powerful effect.’ p. 53. Below: Image of the Imperial War Museum North


‘No matter where students go int he building , they are surrounded by science, with…interpretative pannels abd diagrams integrated into the floors, walls and spaces.’ p. 81. Below: Image of the Walter and Leonore Anneberg Science Centre.


‘Designed by Irina Nakhova. This outdoor art installation shows the subtle balance between public art, public space and interpretative installation’.p. 85.


‘The solution was to make ‘voices’ visible using three dimensional speech bubbles, containing provocative questions about the value of design.’ p. 92. 

This could be an interesting way of showing the opinions of the farmers within my exhibition


Travelling exhibitions

‘A premium must be placed on specifying strong, durable, lightweight materials. Finishes must be robust…Connections between parts require special attention.How many pieces do things break down into? How do you take them apart and put them back together over and over again?… No single piece can be larger than the smallest door through which it must pass!… can fragile objects withstand the …handling…? What about climate control fluctuations? Will mechanical  and electronic inter-actives hold up over time? Will adequate lighting be available everywhere? …’ p. 100-101.

Below: Image of the ‘Junto Tree’, ‘steel and fibre optics. t is designed in 16 sections that are assembled at each site. ‘


Telling a Story

‘Narrative Path… Gives the story structure, transforming the narrative ( the message that they wish to convey to their audience) into a 3 dimensional space, bring the story alive for each visitor.’ p. 104.

Lighting and Acoustic Design

‘Some exhibitions use an absence of light to create a mood. Frost* Bite (below) was in an exhibition hall without windows and little natural light, but the decisions was made to make it darker. The floors were covered with 3M self adhesive vinyl printed with monochrome images of letterpress type, and the white walls were sign-written with floor to ceiling letters reversed out in black. Multimedia displays and pinpoint lighting focused the viewers attention on specific content.’ p. 121.


 Exhibition design and the environment.

Exhibition designers are using three approaches to achieve sustainability; decreasing energy consumption, using recyclable materials and decreasing harmful chemicals. p. 124

The key to environmental sustainability is the designing for the life span of the exhibition…, integrated early into the design process.

Below: Image. ‘Trade show booth for Prana, travelling exhibition. …Utilising green building techniques and sustainable materials… A complete environmental strategy was developed  from the use of compact fluorescent lighting to using hemp rope for the exhibition barrier. nearly the entire exhibition is recyclable including its metal shipping container.’p. 125


Design Intent Documentation

‘…a collaborative communication medium for explaining how a designer would like their exhibition to look to the myriad experts and fabricators involved int he process’.  Includes: Scale and material specification.

BE CONFIDENT! p. 130 below. An example of design intent.


Design Standards

‘…A set of documented standards are often needed to ensure that the exhibition is maintained at a high quality.’p. 132.

‘Great Expectations, Grand Central Station’Image

‘This exhibition formed part of the UKwithNY festival, which aims to raise the profile of British Products and services in NY. the venue was grand central station; a place people usually rush through. Casson Mann wanted to stop visitors in their tracks, so the design had to be dramatic; playful and easily accessible. The exhibition is built around illuminated 50 mtr banquet table, covered in design products. The intention was to suggest and encourage conversation and dialogue. Speakers in the chairs and monitors set into the table offered visitors explanations and objects on display.’ p. 185

Emery Studio, Melbourne

‘Explain why it is plain and ordinary the way it is and then transform it by placing it in a new realm that’s inexplicable and extraordinary. The aim is to reveal the essence of that thing, give it expression and meaning, and trigger emotional connections and responses that will provoke the desired responses from the audience. It’s about throwing the viewer’s certainties  out of balance, challenging preconceptions and established conventions.’p. 212Image



Alice’s Tea Party, Living Design Center OZONE

This event was held at Living Design Centre OZONE in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the tea brand Lipton’s presence in Japan. Nendo designed a cafe based on the Mad Hatter’s tea party…distorting the size o the long table and rows of chairs to heighten a sense of receding depth. Silhouettes of characters from the story were used for the wall paper and were also distorted. These details create a space that feels long and narrow, as tough pulling in visitors. p. 240.Image





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