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Museum Planning Resources

I have added a page on the blog called “Museum Planning Resources”.  Creating a new museum or exhibition takes a dedicated team.  The page will list our trusted team partners from past projects and an explanation of their responsibilities.

Photo copyright the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Lighting Design

The atmosphere of Museum exhibitions is created by lighting.  A lighting designer is brought in early in the planning and design process to work along side the other team members to create and look and feel of the gallery.  The lighting designer specifies equipment, works with the architect’s electrical engineer to make sure the proper electrical needs are in place and oversees the installation and aiming of the equipment.

I have worked several times with John Featherstone of Light Switch and find the firm to be one of the best in the Industry.

Lightswitch Chicago
115 South Drive
Tower Lakes, IL 60010
tel: 847.487.4273
fax: 847.487.4274
http://www.lightswitch.net

About Mark Walhimer

Mark is Managing Partner of Museum Planning, LLC, a museum planning and exhibition project management firm of interactive educational environments for Science Centers, Children's Museums and Natural History Museums. You can reach Mark at mark@walhimer.com.

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  1. Hi, and thanks for bringing lighting design to the attention of your readers!

    There are many lighting designers, some are large offices, some are smaller and some work solo. What is a good lighting designer for a specific museum, depends on the brief, the architecture, the aspirations and the location.

    Many museums require a deep understanding of daylight and how it interacts with the building geometry… If that is the case in your project, look for a lighting designer with experience in the field of daylight. The understanding of the quantative aspects of daylight is a true specialism that requires research, physical modelling, creativity and advanced computer software.

    More and more, lighting is based on electronics, not just electrics, and controls and solid state technologies increasingly enter the museum environment. A lighting designer needs to understand all of that, but first of all should be able to translate the narrative of the exhibition in a lighting concept that supports the show and helps the visitors to get inspired and to comprehend.

    As a good start, take a look at the International Association of Lighting Designers their website http://www.iald.org for a directory of independent lighting designers. Also, the IALD office can provide referrals.

    Lighting design is an important aspect of the museum environment. Good luck with your projects and if you want drop me a note through my website http://www.rogiervanderheide.com

    Regards
    Rogier van der Heide

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