Exhibition Design

Exhibition Design: Bridging the Knowledge Gap

Alice Lake-Hammond and Dr. Noel Waite.
The Design Journal, 13:1, March 2010, pp. 77-98(22).

ABSTRACT: This article considers the changing role of exhibition design and its contribution to interpretation in the increasingly audience-centred museum environment. By examining the case of the Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa, this article considers the designers’ creative role in framing the problem and connecting with the needs and desires of potential users to reshape both the institution of the museum and visitors’ experience. This article concludes with a preliminary map of the key interpretive design considerations of concepts, contexts and narratives as a guide to the exhibition design process in contemporary museums, and for those who seek to bridge the gap between expert knowledge and public audiences.

This creative interdisciplinary role for design in bridging the gap between growing expert knowledge and satisfying an increasing desire for democratic participation in its dissemination can be seen as an important cultural role for design and one worthy of further critical consideration.