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Director, Exhibition Design

Posted: 01/09/2023

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FLSA Status: Fulltime, Salary, Exempt, $55,000
Reports to: Sr. Dir., Exhibition Services
Department: Exhibit Services
Position Overview
This position acts as chief designer for Exhibition Services and manages the development of exhibition design by guiding exhibit layouts and components to fully integrate with the infrastructural requirements of historic Union Terminal and ensuring compliance with all standards and regulations related to exhibition design and display, including but not limited to ADA requirements. This position also serves as architect for CMC, maintaining knowledge of structural regulations and standards for Union Terminal and interfacing with local and national governmental agencies to coordinate permissions for changes.
The Director, Exhibition Design will help manage aspects of the project development process, including conceptualization, prototyping, and testing, developing design and production packages, and managing relationships to realize production and installation. They will work collaboratively with content experts, educators, other designers, and production staff to create work tailored to each exhibit that upholds the design standards of the department and is resilient to significant guest engagement. The Director, Exhibition Design will manage an assistant exhibit designer, when that position is needed.
Design and concepting – 50%
Works with exhibition development teams to plan each exhibition’s theme and approach, giving special attention to the requirements of displayed objects and visitor comfort, safety, and accessibility.
Creates concept drawings, elevations, renderings, construction drawings, and models that clearly visualize projects for use in development, production, fundraising, donor cultivation, media relations, and planning.
Identifies and recommends diverse storytelling design opportunities within exhibits, particularly components that address needs for diverse learning and accessibility.
Follows institutional design standards and national regulations related to exhibition design and display. Develops and manages design standards for the institution.
Maintains awareness of and recommends emerging technologies and industry trends to share with creative teams.  Keeps up to date on exhibit offerings at other institutions.
Exhibits Production – 20%
Oversees the development and design of graphics to be used in an exhibit.  Engages with Senior Director, Exhibition Development and facilitates the needs of the Assistant Exhibition Designer.
Researches and recommends materials for production. Has knowledge of durability, design qualities, and other effects that will realize design intent.
Project Management – 20%
Consult with internal exhibition staff during planning and fabrication phases of designated projects including featured exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, and permanent exhibitions projects.
Manages relationships with fabricators. Seeks quotes for jobs, sets realistic timelines in conjunction with contractors, produces construction packages for production, and oversees production and installation of built components.
Provides quality control check of completed work.
Consultation – 10%
Works with Senior Director, Exhibit Business Development to create and manage project designs, budgets, and contract pricing.
Provide concepting and design options for clients concerning components and creates estimates of resources required in the service of a project’s completion.
When not serving in these capacities, assists as needed with fabrication and installation of internal exhibitions and external contract projects.  This individual may assist with setup and deinstallation of temporary exhibitions and as necessary, on the road for traveling exhibitions.
MA in Architecture and/or Design, with three years of experience; parallel career experience considered.  Architect’s license in the state of Ohio with three years of experience preferred.
Excellent listening skills. Gathers, processes, and summarizes information to clearly communicate exhibit themes through design.
Strong and diverse knowledge of design vocabulary in the development of drawings, floor plans, elevations, perspectives, prototypes, construction drawings, and graphic layouts.
Must be a cooperative, creative, and self-motivated team player with great interpersonal skills and strong attention to detail.
Demonstrates in-depth understanding of key exhibit production skills (carpentry, electric, audio, programming) and must work successfully with representatives from all construction trades.
Communicates successfully using hand drafting and construction of 3D digital models.
Facility with the Adobe Creative Suite and 3D modeling software (we use SketchUp and Vectorworks). Rhino/Grasshopper, Revit and other modeling programs are all pluses.
Working Conditions
Position is 40 hour/week, salary, with benefits. Work environment is primarily office conditions, with some attendance at meetings inside and outside of Union Terminal. This individual serves as a representative for Exhibition Services in interactions with prospective host venues, prospective clients, and other departments within the museum.  Position may from time to time require travel to meet with exhibit providers and experience featured exhibits we may bring in.  The ideal candidate will be able to problem solve, design, and revise quickly and accurately in an environment structured around tight deadlines while providing superb customer service.  Must be able to lift 35 pounds.
To Apply
Please provide a cover letter, resume and digital portfolio with representative examples of your 2-D and 3-D design work.  Send to or visit
CMC/NURFC is an EOE employer and does not discriminate against any person based on age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristics protected by law.  
CMC/NURFC is building a culturally diverse staff committed to working in a multicultural environment. CMC/NURFC encourages applications from candidates even if you don’t meet all the listed qualifications.

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