dcsimg

Career Story: Exhibit Design Coordinator For A Museum

Exhibit Design Coordinator For A Museum

Job Title: Exhibit Design Coordinator

Type of Company: Currently I work for a state-run museum of natural sciences.

Education: BFA, Painting, Tyler School of Art, Temple University

Previous Experience: I have been designing and managing exhibit fabrication projects for over 25 years. I have worked as an employee in the exhibits departments of two natural science museums and for two exhibit production businesses. I have also worked as a consultant for exhibit design and production for several projects by exhibit production business.

Job Tasks: Currently, I work with diverse groups of educators, scientific researchers, and designers to develop exhibits for a new informal science education facility that will open to the public in approximately three years.

I research exhibit ideas by talking to scientists and reading about current science. I also help organize the research of other members of the group, suggest exhibit techniques, and facilitate communication for the group with our administration and other designers. Most of my time is devoted to writing descriptions of our ideas, formatting spreadsheets of our needs, and communicating with others through emails and phone calls. I also help each group review and mark up blueprints and drawings of the new building and exhibits that are produced by contractors.

In the past, my focus was more on building natural science exhibits, the lifelike displays of trees, rocks, animals, and murals that makes up a diorama. My days were spent planning the fabrication of the sculpture and painted elements, directing other artists, and sculpting and painting some of the elements myself.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: As an artist who is interested in science, I would have to say the best part of the job is working closely with science educators and researchers. I have opportunities to visit natural areas with the researchers and learn about the most current science from their perspective. Taking this information and turning it into an exhibit that will communicate to the public is more than just putting puzzle pieces together, it is like creating the puzzle pieces that we start with.

Years ago, I spent most of my time doing the hands-on work of designing, sculpting, and painting exhibits. Now I spend most of my time formatting information into spreadsheets and Word documents: in short, organizing the work for others to do. The worst part of the job is spending so much time at the computer.

Job Tips: Designing and developing science exhibits is a team sport. Learn to listen and ask questions. Instead of just giving your own opinion in a group of experts, practice reflecting back what you have heard, and helping team members hear each others' ideas. Then help the group prioritize their ideas. This applies whether you are preparing to build something yourself, or describe to others what needs to be built.

You may have opportunities to promote your own ideas, but sometimes it is more important to take on the role of helping the whole group move forward.

Spend time visiting informal learning centers such as museums not only to see the exhibits, but to see how visitors interact with exhibits. Learn enough about your topic to present information, not just opinions.

Popular Schools offering Humanities Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Gender Diversity Studies - PhD of Psychology, Gender Diversity Studies - MA in Psychology
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Liberal Studies (Associate of Arts) - Online, Liberal Studies (Bachelor of Arts) - Online, Arabic Language & Cultures (Bachelor of Arts) - Online, more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor, Certificate

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: MA: Music Education, MA in Worship Studies - Ethnomusicology, MA Worship - Ethnomusicology , more...
  • Degrees: Master

Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in History Online
  • Degrees: Master

NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.

  • Programs: Associate of Arts in General Studies, Master of Bible and Theology
  • Degrees: Associate, Master

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in History, Associate of Arts in Christian Ministry - Biblical Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry - Practical Theology
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Associate, Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Exhibit Designers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Exhibit Designers, including: