chapter  2
11 Pages

The designer

WithGiles Velarde

The designer needs to have sensitivity to people and how they behave, interact or respond to various physical circumstances; how they enter a room, how they react to artefacts, diagrams, photographs and even each other. Every designer should be at least in part a psychologist; in the peculiarly intimate relationship between displays and people it is essential. Since 1970 museums have become an integral part of our educational system and, just as there are no unqualified teachers, museum exhibition designers should be equally well trained. A sense of theatre is a valuable attribute for the successful exhibition designer as well as the ability to see the drama in a subject and to exploit it to attract a bigger audience, or explain complex ideas in an enthralling manner. There is a body of opinion which thinks that the best exhibition designer is an extrovert 'exhibitionist', not just having an interest in communication but needing to communicate, almost to show off.