Museum Exhibition Design, Schematic Design – Part I

Mark Walhimer Exhibition Design 3 Comments


My firm Mark Walhimer Exhibition Design has been hired by the Los Vaqueros Intrpretive Center to create a schematic design for their new exhibits as part of their California Proposition 84 grant proposal.  As I am going through the process I thought it might be interesting to document the steps of the schematic design process.

  1. Prior to the first meeting with the client gather general information (review website, admission cost, membership cost, location, demographics of location, museum square footage)
  2. First meeting review current museum exhibitions and programs, review current museum objectives and mission, review with floor staff what is working well and not working well, understand desired outcomes of new exhibition
  3. While with client create initial sketches and get feedback
  4. While with client discuss possible exhibition ideas
  5. Photograph current exhibition spaces and space for new exhibition
  6. Document findings of first meeting
  7. Review meeting notes with client
  8. Create photo pages of the current exhibitions and space for new exhibition.  Review objectives as part of photo pages
  9. Create style boards, a visual collage representation of the new exhibition
  10. Create a Venn diagram of the visitor path and content
  11. Review with client, photo pages, style boards and Venn diagram
  12. Make revisions to photo pages, style boards and Venn diagram
  13. Create framework for final design presentation
  14. Create draft exhibition walk-through.  Describe the exhibition visitor experience
  15. Create budget framework
  16. Create schedule framework
  17. Review budget and schedule with client, often it is helpful to review budget and schedule prior to designing exhibition.
  18. Draft Schematic design drawings
  19. Client feedback
  20. Revise budget and schedule with client feedback on drawings
  21. Revise drawings
  22. Assemble draft schematic design presentation containing; general museum information, exhibition objectives, exhibition walk-through, budget, schedule, schematic drawings, exhibition narrative, Venn Diagram and Style board
  23. Review draft design presentation with client
  24. Make revisions to design presentation
  25. Print out final design presentation either 11″ x 17″ or 8.5″ x 11″
  26. One copy for client, one digital copy on CD

The above effort represents between 40 hours ($5000) and 320 hours ($40,000) depending on the exhibition square footage.  In a future post I will share a complete schematic design presentation.

Photo – Current entrance to Interpretive Center

Comments 3

  1. Hi Mary Anna,nu00a0Thank you for the kind words! u00a0Specific content and specific artifacts is not included until Design Development. u00a0During Schematic Design, a couple of sample graphics may be created with “greeked” text and sample artifacts.nn1. Conceptual Designn2. Schematic Designn3. Design Developmentn4. Final Designn5. Construction Documentsnn-Mark

  2. Hello folks! 😀 I was wondering if I can maybe get some help regarding a project I’m now doing. I need to design a museum exhibit and I need the best software program that would suited for that kind of thing. ANYONE here can let me know. Any and all help is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from anyone of you soon!

    All the best,
    Frank B.

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