Design Thinking: Exhibition Planning with Museum Staff

 Design Thinking: Exhibition Planning with Museum Staff  2-day workshop at The Old Globe Theater and San Diego Museum of Art to develop exhibition ideas with staff

Design Thinking: Exhibition Planning with Museum Staff

2-day workshop at The Old Globe Theater and San Diego Museum of Art to develop exhibition ideas with staff


About the Project:

  • Role: Digital Production Manager, Project Lead, BPOC
  • Partner: The Old Globe Theater, San Diego

The Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park aimed to transform its outdoor plaza/exhibition into a place for exploration and learning. With the help of an A-Ha planning grant, our team worked to develop ideas for interactive visitor-centered projects.

The first step toward transforming the plaza was to conduct a Design-Thinking Workshop that would provide an explosion of highly focused ideas. I had the opportunity to lead this project (and had a total blast!) working with staff from this cultural institution.

Design thinking is an iterative process for creative problem solving that provides practitioners with an action-based way of working. It starts with the idea that if you begin with empathy for your users’ needs, you can create better and more useful solutions to the challenges you face.

In preparation for the exhibition, staff from The Old Globe Theater asked themselves three questions:

  1. How can we better activate the plaza as an environment for curiosity and education?
  2. How do we first engage and then inspire the broadest possible audience in between theater/exhibition shows?
  3. How can we help our visitors visualize interesting “behind the scenes” activities that they might not have physical access to while in the plaza?

    In response to the questions, the design thinking workshop sought to help formulate plans for public-facing initiatives.

    Our goals for the design-thinking workshop included:

    • Focus on the visitors needs through observation and empathy work
    • Articulate and refine goals of visitor engagement
    • Iterate on possible solutions, providing clear direction to for future projects
    • Test those solutions for feedback, helping to further refine the objective to create meaningful connecting between visitors and “behind the scenes” events.

    Below is a list of common themes that emerged during the design-thinking workshop. Our goal was to start small, test with visitors, and learn what will work best in the plaza in order to transform the outdoor plaza into a place for exploration and learning

    • Theme 1: Gamification-Historic/Cultural Guided Tour with BYO Mobile Device
    • Theme 2: Augmented Reality: A Window into Behind the Scenes Performances and Events  
    • Theme 3: Immersive Interactions with Famous Characters using Projection Mapping