Exhibits Design and Exhibits Production
The National Air and Space Museum's Exhibits Design and Exhibits Production divisions collaboratively plan, design, fabricate, install, and maintain the Museum's exhibitions. Individuals in these units have widely ranging skills and talents and work closely with staff from many other divisions and offices throughout the Museum.
Exhibits Design Division
Exhibits Design comprises several designers with expertise in graphics, structural design, and lighting, along with project managers, a writer-editor, and an administrative assistant. Working in concert with curators, educators, conservators, cabinet makers, audiovisual media experts and many others across the Museum and the Smithsonian, they plan every physical and visual element of an exhibition. They also manage the budget and schedule and coordinate the efforts of the entire project team.
Exhibits Design also uses student interns and volunteers, who assist with a variety of essential tasks, such as exhibit and graphic design, exhibit research, computer programming, lighting and electrical design, audiovisual production, exhibit fabrication, and graphic production.
Exhibits Production includes graphics, fabrication, paint, and model shops at the Paul E. Garber Facility in nearby Suitland, Maryland, and exhibits maintenance, electrical, lighting, and mechanical interactives shops, as well as mobile equipment operators and an artifact cleaning crew at the National Mall building. Production staff construct, install, and maintain exhibits in the Museum, keep the artifacts on display clean, and build artifact mounts, make models, and prepare mannequins. Much of the production work is done at the Garber Facility, after which finished exhibit components are transported to the Museum for installation.
Production's audio visual unit maintains an electronics shop and includes personnel involved in video duplication and production, electrical and lighting maintenance, and computer development and maintenance. Audio visual staff install and maintain all audiovisual, electro-mechanical, and computer exhibits in the Museum. They also provide support for special events and other Museum functions.