Lead Exhibition Designer

Location: Salem, MA Posted: Jan 10

Job Description

Lead Exhibition Designer

The Peabody Essex Museum is one of the nation’s most dynamic art museums and operates on a global stage through its initiatives, networks, and patrons. PEM is dedicated to transforming people’s lives by creating a museum experience that celebrates the capacity of art and culture to inform and change our understanding of our place in the world. By presenting art and culture in new ways, by linking past and present, and by embracing artistic and cultural achievements worldwide, the museum offers unique opportunities to explore multilayered and interconnected arenas of creative expression.
On behalf of our staff and the people we serve, PEM emphasizes creativity, innovation, change, and the unexpected as core values. We define PEM’s exhibitions and collection installations as experiences—compelling environments and moments of engagement that communicate and generate ideas, emotions, connections, and memories as transformative opportunities and outcomes. Exhibition design at PEM transcends standard exhibition design concepts and frameworks and is an integral part of the museum’s interpretive approach. We are committed to design that focuses on the nature and quality of the participant’s experience.
The museum encompasses over 250,000 square feet of gallery and public space, including 26,000 square feet of exhibition galleries and 55,000 square feet of galleries devoted to collection installations and interpretation. PEM is adding a 40,000 square foot new wing scheduled to open in summer 2019. It will include 19,000 square feet for collection installations and additional public and educational spaces.
Between 2017 and 2022, PEM will develop new collection installations museum-wide, based on innovative experience, interpretation, and design strategies that reflect the museum’s commitment to drawing on multiple fields of inquiry including neuroscience.
We are seeking a talented and adventurous designer to join our Design team. Our five person team has a dynamic aesthetic and diverse talents covering a variety of creative experiences—exhibition, industrial, and experience design, interior design and space planning, the performing arts (dance, music and/or theatre), and graphic design for print, exhibition and digital platforms.
The Exhibition Design Department’s work encompasses changing exhibitions (six to eight shows annually at 2,500-12,000 square feet each), 15 new installations for the building expansion and existing galleries, public space interventions, and creative wayfinding. We regularly collaborate as part of the interdisciplinary teams that conceptualize, interpret, design and implement these projects.
We are looking for individuals who are eager to explore opportunities to re-imagine the museum experience and create unique personal connections for our audiences. We work on simultaneous projects of varying scales, forge collaborative and respectful relationships across the museum’s diverse areas of expertise, and are always open to incorporating our colleagues’ input during design ideations and reviews. If you have a broad and distinctive design perspective, great communication and presentation skills, and relish engaging with other disciplines to create unique visitor experiences. you will have the chance to use these talents and in one of the following three position openings.
Lead Designer
The position requires a minimum of seven years experience in a design environment, preferably in a museum or office/studio, and a hands-on knowledge of fabrication materials, techniques, and specialties including mount making and current museum conservation practices. You must demonstrate experience as a project leader on large-scale installations, be able to pilot the design process from concept thru on-floor implementation, and assist in the management of budgets and workflow for your projects.
You should be well versed in conceptualizing and delivering immersive experiences, and integrating creative museum and theatrical lighting, multi-media and interactive technologies. A clear passion for fusing interpretive philosophies with behavioral sciences and a desire to contribute to PEM’s research and ongoing testing of experiential engagement will be key factors for success.
Qualifications
Candidates must have a BA from a design-related institution or a relevant combination of education and experience, and a track record of successful exhibition or comparably ambitious projects in other fields such as the performing arts or experience design. Candidates must also be technically savvy, with a proven knowledge of design software programs on the Mac platform relevant to these positions—VectorWorks, Renderworks, SketchUp and/or other modeling 3D programs, Adobe CC and Microsoft Office software.

Applicants should submit a cover letter with salary requirements, a detailed resume, and a portfolio of five relevant projects by email to jobs@pem.org or by regular mail to Human Resources, Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem, MA 01970-3783. PEM is committed to diversity among its employees and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

How To Apply

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NOTE: International candidates must hold a valid US working permit.

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