Designing to the Story, not to Internal Capabilities

I once asked a client why they chose not to pursue a design-build process for a large permanent exhibit project.  The key reason he gave me was that he believes a design-build firm has an inherent incentive to design to the firm’s internal capabilities rather than letting the owner’s unique stories and visitor experience objectives be the driving force.   It was hard to totally dispute that reasoning.  Might a firm that specializes in technology-based solutions suggest a technology driven environment even if budget, maintenance, or other constraints did not perfectly align with that recommendation?  Maybe.  Might a firm specializing in scenic environments feel compelled to make dioramas or other scenic elements a common design feature in an effort to keep scenic fabricators fully utilized?  Possibly.

The feedback from this client was a key factor in Malone Design/Fabrication’s commitment to developing a full breadth of production capabilities – casework in all materials, interactive exhibits, graphics, audio-visual and multimedia, scenic, and more.  We strongly adhere to a story-driven design philosophy and our capabilities reflect that.  If a certain type of exhibit media best supports a particular message and visitor experience objective, we want to be able to deliver that option as cost efficiently as possible and not compromise your objectives.

To get more information about Malone’s services and capabilities, go to  To have one of our creative professionals contact you about your project, please fill out the form below.


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