EXHIBITION DESIGN EDUCATION PHILOSOPHY
“EXHIBITIONS CAN BE, AND ARE OFTEN TAKEN TO BE, CERTIFICATIONS
OF SELF AND IDENTITY. THESE ARE NO SMALL MATTERS.”
Kreamer, Museums and Communities: The Politics of Public Culture
Exhibition design is more than the sum of its interdisciplinary parts. It is a communicative design profession driven by an understanding that it is by nature, a public medium. Students of exhibition design should come to embody the knowledge that exhibitions are informational experiences created for and driven by audiences, and that to be an exhibition designer is to be a storyteller. As designers, they bear a responsibility to themselves and the venues in which they work to foster an exhibition’s power to convey intellectual content, generate affective experiences and encourage physical interaction between visitors and their designed environment.
Exhibition design education should be comprehensive, incorporating myriad design disciplines and the cultivation of conceptual thinking. It is a forum for experimentation where students are inventors, maximizing advancements in media and interpretation to truly unique ends. Here, instructors of exhibition design have the opportunity to instill in their students a creative logic that includes the ability to plan, generate a tangible construct for interpretation, and implement the technical design process with an original “voice.” With a foundation built upon field and studio work, critical research and thesis construction, students of higher education in exhibition design should conclude their educational experience as leaders, the bearers of great vocational achievement who see themselves as stewards of the profession.
Assistant Professor Brenda Cowan Chair,
Graduate Exhibition Design
Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY
27th Street at Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10001 USA