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Hennes looks for the unique

Hennes looks for the unique

Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 9:03 pm

You might want to work for Tom Hennes, or someone like him. You might want to establish your own exhibit design enterprise.
If so, there are some things you need to know.
• You need to develop the ability to hear what people are really saying and to synthesize it. That’s an important part of making good exhibits.
• You need to know how to invent anew for each project. Repetition can be death for a reputation in the field.
• You need to know how to design with an open mind to meet the need of a specific time, space and purpose. But novelty for its own sake, as the sole driver of invention, can lead to creative train wrecks.
• You can approach the job from several different areas of training — architecture, graphic design, audio-visual design, industrial design, multi-media production and more. Interest in a range of possibilities, even if the depth of education or experience is not the same in all — will be of immense benefit. “It’s a synthetic field,” Hennes says.
• You need to already know — or be willing to find out — not an immense amount about one topic or discipline but “just enough” about lots of things.
• You need good design skills.
Design schools provide good employee pools from which to draw, Hennes says, but he notes that his firm also advertises on-line and culls through “zillions” of résumés. Word of mouth brings some potential employees to his door and “sometimes, people just find us. The people who find out about us and like what we do tend to work out better than those who just respond to an ad. There are some museum studies programs in college — they do more philosophical underpinning — and there are some like Pratt Institute that have exhibition design as a specialty in their industrial design department. There’s actually not a lot of good training out there for this work. It is a field unto itself.”
For more information about Thinc Design, go to http://www.thincdesign.com/
Published in The Messenger 5.12.10

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