On Exhibition Design – Eye Magazine Fall 06 Issue

Lately, I find myself observing how people look at exhibitions, how they interact with the objects, the amount of time they will take to look/read… ultimately, I’m facinated by how we LEARN. Exhibition design is changing – must change – to reflect new audiences, their broad interest in culture and how the best absorb information. The static exhibition is giving way to the exhibition experience, and when designed by innovative thinkers, the sky is the limit.

The fall issue of the UK-based EYE Magazine has a terrific article by designer Abbott Miller, whom many of you will know as a Partner at Pentagram Design, editor/designer of 2wice Magazine, the designer who re-designed the look of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust’s calendars, posters and note cards as well as the identity for the “Ansel Adams At 100″ exhibition and publication. One of my favorite exhibition identities and installations was the brilliant work he did with video artist/author Ann Fessler for her exhibition “Everlasting” at MICA.

Miller has written a facinating article called “From Object To Observer” for Eye that I urge you all to read. I quote here the first paragraph: “Exhibition design deals with the dispositio of objects in space: their conceptual and physical relationship to one another and to the observer. Coordinating this complex interaction makes the exhibition designer a choreographer – of objects, images, texts and people. How we behave in an exhibition, what we feel permitted to do, and how we interact with what is on discplay are all aspects of design. Exhibitions blend the complex factors of architectural space with the narrative concerns of book and magazine design.”

Read this article and become an observer as well as a viewer when attending exhibitions of all sorts – I hope it will help you address how to present your work to your target audience.

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