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Group therapy for grumpy exhibition makers

As professionals, we all have high expectations when we step into an exhibition space, ready to embark on an immersive visitor journey or to delve deep into intriguing interactive exhibits. Alas! After a few steps our exhibition maker’s angry eye catches something that makes us cringe… soon we see only faulty instructions, non-ergonomic interfaces, badly lit labels and dangerously sharp edges.

In this group therapy session, each speaker will be delivering a short PechaKucha presentation about their personal “obsession” when visiting exhibitions. Also taking contributions from the floor, we will be putting together a checklist of “deadly sins” or “charm breakers” to be avoided at all cost by exhibition makers around the planet.

And who knows? This cathartic exercise might even free us all of our professional grumpiness curse and leave us able to candidly enjoy exhibitions again!

Facilitator

Julie Becker
Consultant
Freelancer
Brussels
Belgium
Exhibitions and Interpretation Manager
The Natural History Museum
London
United Kingdom

Session speakers

Development Manager
KCA London
London
United Kingdom
My obsession: an exhibition's USP (unique selling point) for its visitors. A deadly sin for me is providing an exhibition experience that is easily replicated through an online experience, or relies on media that the visitor can easily use in their home, school, or an alternative leisure activity.
Head of PR and Marketing Dept.
Torun
Poland
My obsession: explainers and facilitators. I'm interested in whether educators in the science centre help or disturb exploration of the exhibition.
Nathalie Puzenat, Universcience Paris
Exhibit Developer
Paris
France
My obsession: the way your body is engaged in an exhibition - or often not. Whether polysensoriality is at work or not and if using body is a means to discover those unknown territories of exhibition spaces and topics you have little previous knowledge of.
Partner
Archimedes Exhibitions GmbH
Berlin
Germany
My obsession: scenography that supports (or corrupts) the visitor experience. Less is (often, but not always) more - If I enter an exhibition to learn via interaction, what gives me (audio-)visual motivation/distraction? How can motivation and concentration blend in the best possible way to support my visit?
Junior Project Manager
Łódź
Poland
My obsession: attention to detail in exhibit making. Exhibits too often fail because of careless design or build!
Head of Audience Development
Trento
Italy
My obsession: noise. Is all this chaos, screaming and rowdiness inevitable in science centers? Are they characteristic elements of science exhibitions? Isn't it possible to imagine silent spaces (or at least a little quieter and more relaxing) for dynamic science learning or simply discovery?
Exhibit developer and Curator
Paris
France
My obsession: exhibits that are made for both visually impaired and non visually impaired visitors. I'm looking at user scenarios, compatible and contradictory visitor needs but also crucial technical aspects like lighting and reflection.
Consultant
Science Centres International
United Kingdom
My obsession: does an exhibition have ‘soul’? In other words, does it feel like someone who understands and cares about the science and the visitors has been in charge of it?