A Top 20 showing of exhibit design

Just to expand horizons a little bit, here is a list of some top museum exhibit designs out there.
Though some of this is more art than design.
This is what I consider 3D design. :slight_smile:


Of course it’s no mystery how that could be considered “3D Design,” but for the purposes of discussion it would be more effective to call it exhibit design or experiential design because, in my opinion anyway, the term 3D Design doesn’t even scratch its surface. It’s a culmination of many disciplines, including architecture, sculpture, 2D design for screen and print, 3D design for screen and fabrication, interior design, landscape design, set building, way-finding design, engineering, carpentry, metalwork, and probably a dozen other specialties.

In my view the fundamental element that differentiates 3D design from 2D design is literally designing the 3rd dimension. That is, again at the most fundamental level, when a 2D square is extruded to form a cube (a true cube that exists in 3D space, comprised of parametric data accounting for its 3 dimensions and their sizes and positions relative to . . . everything, as opposed to a cube simulated by 2-dimensional means), that’s where “3D design” begins. That’s why I immediately pointed to the software; because it’s the singular tool that enables a person engaged in design to implement (design of) that 3rd dimension in the aforementioned sense.

Love this one :heart: I’ve never seen quilts displayed like this before. And of course I adore red and white quilts :smiley:


Yes, these are experiential designs. They do incorporate a lot of different disciplines that mesh to form the whole. While you might use software to render in 3D, all of what I do is outside of that software, to make it real. Yeah, the engineers in the front office do use AutoCAD and SolidWorks and a few others things as well, but it all comes down to making a shop drawing that can be realized. There’ve been a few times where the rendering looks great, but you just can’t make it for real without changing the gravitational constant of the universe. So you improvise to come close.

It always seems to be that 3rd dimension that throws conventional designers for a loop too. Sometimes something as simple as a 2-sided standee…no I can’t reverse and repeat the image because the writing on the shirt/hat/etc will be backwards. Or that you can’t wrap the sides of a box with one piece of fabric, especially not with 5 different image planes (6 if the bottom is seen.) Fabric is not dimensionally stable through a printer. If you want 5 images, come up with a way to build it to wrap 5 or 6 sides individually. Or don’t try to stop the image at the corners. /rant

Sometimes GDF gets so hung up on flat design (screen and paper) that I have to toss a wrench in once in a while. :slight_smile:

Very cool and interesting stuff.

When I was in college, I had a part-time job for several months working at a place called Exhibigraphics. They mostly created various kinds of displays for museums and trade shows. I don’t think the term experiential design had even been invented yet, but that’s essentially what they did. Almost every project was an exercise in the people there improvising ways to do thing. I was mostly just an assistant screen printer, but it was always fun talking to more experienced people and participating in the museum installations.

It was more interesting and difficult back then to realize a designer’s concept. You didn’t have direct to substrate printing. You didn’t have wide format fabrics and very little dye sub. Ink jets were relegated to small sized Iris drum printers. Solvent printing on vinyl was in it’s infancy, “Scotchprints” mostly and those had an ink DPI somewhere in the 150-200 range. And of course the photographic Lambda and Lightjet prints.
Now there isn’t much we can’t print on in some fashion. Whether you should do it or not is always the question. And so much a part of the fun.

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