The production of an exhibition is usually an adventure involving a group of professionals – sometimes more than others – and that can be a very complex task, so it is good to have very clear ideas about the objectives before taking the first step. It is more than advisable to rely on advance programming that covers all the phases that we must face, as if it were the control check of the pilot before take-off the aircraft. It’s a bar control system, or the analysis of critical steps to determine key stages that must be completed before moving on to the following and to the last. Visual control systems will show the complexity of a graphically very appropriate for those who are designers, we know, if it’s visual much better. This is particularly useful when on work already assigned to their specialists on control time or timming. In any case, we must always be very realistic when it comes to distribute these tareas-tiempo or even should we bow before the pessimism. We understand that anticipate setbacks to avoid unpleasant and costly problems – in money, relationship with the customer and image of our company to the contractor, even porveedores-, put us in the worst possible scenarios is very useful also. All this will require continuous reviews and updates; to be activity moving fast everything can change and have to manage those changes.
We are going to detail – trying to shorten the maximum-, the main stages in the work of production of the exhibition within the Museum. Nothing is changeless, that Yes, but nor will there be unpleasant surprises. We start from the scheme of Howell (1971), because it works. Here we go:
1. Recognition of the need. In our field, there are no things because Yes, always responds to a specific need. This particular need usually arise from the document’s basic guidelines of the Museum, about a plan strategic or communication plan. It may arise from other routes – suggestions for sponsors for example, although science fiction in these moments that we live in, but occurred in his day. In any case, it will be aware when that gives way to the need to realize a project of exhibition in space and in time.
2. Assessment prior to the proposal. We look at what may be called the axes of the pre-draft, i.e. a study on public profile that we’re going to handle, outline of the necessary space, approximate designation dates and, at the same time, budget estimate available on the need to undertake the project. If these first estimations indicate that the project can come into the category of feasible, we move to the next phase.
3. Feasibility study. It’s a much more detailed analysis of all aspects and implications the project of the exhibition. We must detail already, entering details, objectives and purposes of the project, and then develop a sketch summary that will analyze the final feasibility. We will also analyse the priority that this project will have in general Assembly of the exhibition programme, the availability of objects and their needs for conservation and safety, availability and involvement of personnel, location, dates, and total cost.
4. Assessment of the feasibility study. If it is positive, goes as far as possible, we need to nominate a team now for the project. We will need the establishment of a fixed project direction, a Council of direction, design and production. From this stage, it is advisable to begin shaping the project in a visual way that may arise to possible future sponsors – tougher phase of the entire project-.
5. New research. The Commissioner – conservative-, designer and, possibly, some more people should investigate certain details of the future exhibition before moving on to the next stage. It is very useful to visit other entities that have done something similar to consult possible problems and to determine a priori solutions. We at EVE tend to repeat ourselves that it’s all invented, just have to know how to learn from what has been done to improve the reality as much as possible.
6. Bases of communication. At this stage develops, from the hand of the Commissioner basically, a more elaborate conceptual schema about needs, including the count already safely with objects that will be part of the exhibition once the previous selection.
7. Conservation. Preparation of objects for use in the exhibition.
8. Drafting of the project. The project is the document in which the objectives and purposes of the exhibition are developed in detail and which includes all the information necessary for that designer – us-, understand the problem and begin work that will allow us to raise the first solution of the design of the exhibition. It is a fundamental phase, if things are twisted here we will go wrong all of this point will depend on excellence or otherwise of the project. Not appropriate approaches, clashes of egos, unnecessary interference, thing confusing, incorrect, will inevitably be to the detriment of the exhibition and will cause superfluous expenditure of time and money. The project is detailed by the Commissioner, who shall consult other specialists according to your needs. But the designer must be part of that wording, from km 0, by the important thing is for everyone to advise from the experience. The problems is going to be before they appear and thus have all of the solutions prepared in advance.
9. Design of the exhibition. All the information, at this point, must conform in an overall design of the exhibition including your final visual identity. The designer must conceptualize the whole, the location of each section within the exhibition, a circulation model and expected media type. Once resolved all these aspects, we can work in detail in the graphics of the exhibition. If we do surely there will be very few graphics, the righteous and Yes is will include audiovisual, audio, apps, augmented reality, etc. All the design approach should appear in sketches and diagrams. We recommend to write that we call rational creative, with detailed explanations of the different proposals and their reason for being. All under a detailed monitoring of the costs of all and each one of the elements that will make up the exhibition and its works execution of the same. The designer should apply for a general review of the proposal with the rest of the members of the team responsible for the exhibition.
10. Final approval. The seen good of all and each of the members of the project under its rubric will be recovered. There should be no doubt in the project, we have already given all the steps leading up to the execution by all to be sure where we go. The direction of the Museum must be involved in this decision as well as the sponsors if they exist – are a species on the brink of extinction. They may be preliminary reviews. Correction and signatures. It is a step that is usually celebrate with a meal or a pincheo of brotherhood.
11. Completion of the proposal. you have to finish with the last selection of the objects over the last election. Review the agreements loan. Formalize the corresponding insurance. Complete contents textual, Visual, special effects, lighting, fragrances if any. It is important to have a physical model of the exposure, not just 3D drawings. It is a moment of very intense activity, with a large number of decision-making and often nerves. There should be a detailed report with all the project for review at each moment and update if necessary. Anything not resolved at this stage tends to generate multiple problems, added costs and loss of time again. At this stage there can be no mistakes.
12. Recruitment of providers. Phase in which must be professionals external running tasks necessary for setting up the exhibition: builders of stands, Illuminators, audiovisual producers, studios infographics, painters and sculptors of corporeal, facsimiles manufacturers, graphic designers, etc. Normally it is the designer who chooses its suppliers even if a State or National Museum, sometimes they engage under conditions of competition. We respect the laws that apply in the recruitment, but I think they are a serious mistake since that premium prices on qualities.
13. Assambly. Once we begin the phase of mounting, we check and supervise all levels of work, it is one permanent presence to avoid errors and misunderstandings. Even is a form of continuously mediate between vendors who has a penchant for discussion: painters and assemblers, fitters and electricians, electricians and sculptors… What we call putting peace. It is a very delicate stage, with much work, many different tasks in the same place, and the people involved are usually very nervous since are required to much in a short time and lives in a small space. Everything is dirty and there are many things everywhere, is a somewhat daunting phase until we reach the end, it is the phase of the famous question: will everything remain as we have designed it.
14. Opening, monitoring end of details and maintenance. Preparations for the opening – we are already out of these tasks, just the review of printed material-. All prepared long before the date of opening. Advancing with time advertising, invitations, and visual materials for the media who is summoned to the opening day. Schemes enabling you to keep track of all this tasks, ensuring the effectiveness of all what has been done are prepared. The maintenance team must be ready to tackle any setback, knowing in advance how the mechanical and electrical aspects of the exhibition. We always write a Manual of maintenance of the Exhibition with all sorts of details, including warranties for appliances and phones from manufacturers. We draw up a final document with detail of incidents not expected to pass to set up the professional experience and so we know to anticipate it the next draft.
15. End of the project. Issuance of final invoice and collection of the project. Realization of photographs from the exhibition for the promotional purposes of the study. Internal celebration.
We have been a tad long but we believe that it is important that these steps be known, both for some and for others, for those who are – even if they already have them very seen – or will be involved in this type of project.