Having the ability to change exhibits and graphics easily and cost effectively can be a key requirement for many institutions – A museum wanting to regularly rotate pieces of the collection, a sports team wanting to update records and achievements, an arts center that wants to communicate upcoming events, or an institution that wants to share exhibit space with events or other functions.
When a client asks for a changeable or flexible section in an exhibit or installation, we always ask a few key questions:
How often will these elements be updated?
What are the in-house capabilities for printing, maintenance and staff?
Will there be objects or images changing, or both?
What percentage of space should be dedicated to changeability?
These answers become a guide to and for the design, but the approach we take at Malone is always a layered one. We always try to incorporate elements that can be easily updated by on-site staff, such as digital signage, acrylic sleeves or frames for standard desktop prints, or easy-open bulletin boards or display cases. For example, events, weather, news, or scores might be updated on a daily interval and controlled by a data feed system.
Another layer of changeability are items that are removable and can be swapped out semi-regularly with the assistance of outside help such as specialty prints, large-format poster frames, engraved plaques, or reconfigurable display cases for new curated object-based exhibits. These could be announcements of upcoming events, team updates, or small exhibits on a specific topic.
The largest scale example would be a changing exhibit area, which could include movable kiosks and wall units, flexible graphic systems using picture rails, hanging frames, or Velcro panels and display cases with cable or rod systems that allow for varied configurations for graphics and artifact shelves. These could be season or yearly changes or events that better align the exhibits with what is going on in and around the facility.
The goal is always to combine all these variable components seamlessly into any permanent exhibition, so that whenever the client makes changes or updates daily, monthly or over years, the design is as cohesive and branded to the clients’ messaging as the day it was installed.