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Exhibit Designer 2

About Us: The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago is the largest and most interactive science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) exposes guests of all ages to awe-inspiring exhibitions that spark curiosity and bring science to life. MSI’s mission – to inspire the inventive genius in everyone – is realized through its world-class exhibitions and engaging guest experiences. The Museum of Science and Industry provides programs and experiences that deepen the engagement of students and teachers in science and science-related disciplines, with a vision to inspire and motivate our children to achieve their full potential in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine.

We offer a creative, collaborative, and innovative environment for our employees. Our employees get great perks such as: benefits starting day one of your employment, free admission to MSI for family and friends, free admission to other museums, free parking in MSI’s garage and more! If you are equally passionate about our vision and want to be surrounded by a team of dynamic, smart and innovative people, the Museum of Science and Industry is the right place for you!

The Job: The Exhibit Designer 2 is a key creative leader responsible for the design and art direction of permanent and temporary exhibitions from conception through installation. Additionally, the Exhibit Designer 2 is a multi-faceted creative partner involved in a variety of other non-exhibit design projects throughout the Museum. The optimum candidate for this position will be an innovative and visionary designer with a wide variety of creative experience, design and drawings skills and content interests. The Exhibit Designer 2 is equal parts storyteller, designer, problem-solver and manager with an in-depth understanding of museum audiences, immersive environments, and the challenging role that design plays in supporting the Museum’s mission to inspire inventive genius in each of our visitors.


  • Conceptualize, plan, design and art direct permanent, temporary and travelling exhibitions, as well as other non-exhibit projects.
  • Facilitate, conduct and/or participate in creative discussions, design and staff meetings, reviews and project critiques.
  • Create Concept and Schematic design packages that include sketches, illustrations, storyboards and plan views.
  • Present exhibit concepts and designs to diverse in-house and out-of-house audiences.
  • Develop biddable Design Development drawing packages that include models, renderings, mock-ups, colors, finishes, materials and notes, as well as scalable plans, elevations, sections and details.
  • Work closely with in-house project management team to develop project budgets, schedules and design objectives.
  • Art direct and supervise out-of-house contractors and vendors for fabrication, construction and installation.
  • Research, organize and report visual references and innovative design solutions.
  • Write exhibit design briefs and other types of project documents.
  • Participate in the exhibit prototyping process, user testing and evaluation and visitor studies.
  • Review and understand contract documents.
  • Participate in the selection and supervision of exhibit fabricators and other vendors.
  • Review, redline and critique in-house and out-of-house design, architectural and fabrication drawings.
  • Work closely with the Design Manager to elevate and solve creative issues in a timely manner and to update the overall department project schedule regularly.
  • Coordinate and communicate effectively and efficiently with all Museum stakeholders, staff and creative team members.
  • Participate in the ongoing development of the Museum’s exhibit design and fabrication standards.
  • Provide show quality standards evaluation for existing facilities and exhibits by participating in exhibit and facility reviews.
  • Organize and maintain digital and hardcopy archives of all design projects.

Qualifications/ Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Design plus 1-2 years professional exhibit and/or entertainment design and art direction experience or 5-6 years’ applicable experience in lieu of a Bachelor’s degree
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design and Sketch Up (or other visualization software).
  • Familiarity with ADA codes, inclusive design and local/state/federal building regulations regarding public spaces
  • Demonstrated ability to design for physical, cognitive and social human factors.
  • Ability to express concepts and ideas effectively through sketches, illustrations, models, storyboards, etc.
  • Experience producing concept and detailed drawing packages at all levels (Concept, Schematic, Design Development and Construction) for exhibit and non-exhibit design projects.
  • Intuitive understanding of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, including scale.
  • Ability to do both digital and traditional hand-drawing, sketching, drafting and rendering.
  • Strong computer drafting skills.
  • In depth understanding of exhibit fabrication, construction techniques and installation
  • In-depth understanding of the creative process and the evolution of great ideas.
  • Passion for crafting environments and experiences that convey story, content and message.
  • General knowledge of other design mediums such as environmental graphic design, lighting, media, architecture, master planning, etc.
  • Ability to multi-task and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Capable of adapting quickly and easily to changing conditions, environments and situations.
  • Strong research and visualization skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience presenting and speaking.
  • Strong familiarity with industry standard design software, hardware and production equipment.
  • Current working knowledge of industry standards, practices and terms for exhibit and entertainment design/fabrication/installation.

The Museum of Science and Industry is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, which includes providing equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

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