Thursday, March 6, 2008

That Thing I Do

The installation of the "Amazing Bodies" life science exhibition in Amarillo, Texas, is complete! I am quite pleased with how this one came out, I have to say. The activities are fun and informative, and the large-scale graphics turned out beautifully. For those of you who don't really know what I do, imagine a big empty room with boring grey carpet and white walls and then look at this picture. What I do, with my cute little teammates, is research the client's chosen exhibition topic to the nth degree, then figure out what content can be turned into cool ideas that people can actually touch and do--basically, we come up with the idea behind every single exhibit that goes in that boring white and grey room. Then, the design team here turns those ideas into "things" that can be fabricated. While all that is happening, it's my job to write interesting words for all of those exhibits using the research that we've gathered and to work with the graphic designers to come up with a label that has all that information in it. A lot of times, that also includes me researching endless photos to find that one special cow or lung X-ray or jumproping child that we want to put on that label (since we know better than the graphic designer what exact type of cow, lung or child we would like to see on that label). I also help develop any multimedia programs and find videos and sounds for any exhibits that have media in them.

And then, while I'm doing that, I set and follow where the project budget is going, set the schedules, track the project's progress and keep it moving, and communicate with the client to get their approvals as we go along. But that's all. :-)

I'll be going out to Amarillo in mid-April to do a photo shoot of the exhibit, so I should get some better photos of it. It's the first time I've ever had to handle one of our photo shoots, so that should be loads of fun. Even more exciting is the chance to see the exhibition first-hand. I spend, on average, two years of my life working on a project, but I've only been to about half of the finished exhibitions. I'm usually too busy working on the next one to go!

And what's next, you ask? Well, now that I've wrapped up a life sciences exhibition along with a small ecology exhibit about the cypress-tupelo swamps of Louisiana and East Texas, I've moved on to a project about the maritime history of the Gulf of Mexico. That's a new one! But I now know how to find my longitude and latitude if I'm ever stranded in the middle of the Gulf with a boatload of nineteenth-century navigation tools. Life is good!

By the by, that activity in the picture asks people to try to match the heartbeat rate of a dog, human and cow. It's harder than you think! And we had to track down real, plastinated hearts of all those critters, which you can see in the windows there.

1 comment:

Fran said...

I got to see the one in Belfast, Ireland. FABULOUS!! You're so smart!!