Establishing a development process for science museum exhibition design
As museum exhibition design becomes technically complex and design teams more
specialised and fragmented, the need to plan, co-ordinate and increase the quality of
the design process is becoming more important. According to a preliminary analysis of
science museums, multi-disciplinary, targeted, technology-based exhibits are replacing
traditional object based displays; therefore, a specifically multi-disciplinary model is
necessary to develop a workable museum exhibitiond design process (MEDP) model.
This research explores the theoryo of design processes and museum exhibitions as a
means of developing an MEDP model and takes a comprehensive look at how
design process models are currently used in developing museum exhibitions. It aims
at establishin ga process model specifically for inter-disciplinary exhibition design
work in science museums, which is theory-base and can be used as a prescriptive
design aid to enhance the effective use of design information.
Research methods comprise an exploratory study of literature and collected data,
the development of surveys and case studies and their analysis in terms of MEDP
methodology. The research examines theoretical (architectural, product and
exhibition) models and develops a small number of case studies showing how
design concepts are managed in real-world practice. A live case 'The Discovery
Centre at Millennium Point' was used to observe two exhibition design projects in
progress and to provide an overview of practical processs in design development.
In addition, other case studies of `completed' museum exhibition design projects
were developed by physical site surveys, questionnaires and interviews.
The MEDP model is constructed from data flow diagrams generically representing
the tasks involved and the associated information flows in a consistent manner and
was evaluated for its concept development capability by designers and curators.
Future development is also considered in relation to museology, design
management and project management.