The California Academy of Sciences seeks an innovative and energetic Senior Exhibit Designer to join the Academy’s outstanding Exhibit Studio team. You’ll lead design efforts to produce engaging exhibitions and visitor experiences, and will collaborate with scientists, educators, artists, builders, technologists, and other internal and external partners. This position reports to the Director of Exhibits.
Who are we looking for? You bring a sophisticated, modern design sensibility to your work. You’re someone who can champion your original ideas and build on the ideas of others. You thrive in a team environment and build rapport with colleagues. You’re excited to work on challenging and rewarding projects that will engage the Academy’s audiences with natural history collections, the latest research on biodiversity, and science-based sustainability solutions. You have experience as the design lead on complex projects for museums, exhibit design firms, or related entertainment?oriented settings.
What are you looking for? We offer a collaborative environment where you’ll have a high level of creative input, work with talented colleagues, and see the results of your work in a forward-thinking museum and beyond.
About the California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and education—all under one living roof.
As the design lead for new exhibits, you’ll envision, communicate, and advocate for creative design solutions to present scientific content in unusual and memorable ways. You’ll bring a sophisticated, modern design sensibility, an energetic, team-oriented approach, and 10 or more years of design experience focused on high-quality quest or audience experiences in museums, entertainment, or similar industries. Position reports to the Director of Exhibits.
We offer a collaborative environment where you’ll have a high level of creative input, work with talented colleagues, and see the results of your work in a forward-thinking museum and beyond.
The CAS is a forward-thinking organization working to create visitor experience and to make a large scale impact on the most pressing issues of our time.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Envision, articulate, and advocate for creative design solutions to present scientific content in unusual and memorable ways to diverse audiences.
- Serve as primary exhibit designer on assigned projects.
- Function as primary liaison with external/contract design resources as needed.
- Collaborate with other designers and content teams to prepare design presentation packages for key project milestones (10%, 35%, 65%, Final Design).
- Develop detailed design packages from concept through schematic to construction/fabrication drawings.
- Collaborate and coordinate with Exhibit Content Developers, Exhibit Project Managers, Exhibit Graphic Designers, Media Designers, and others on exhibit design, media and interactive design, fabrication and execution.
- Translate and communicate visually to a wide variety of people including fellow designers and exhibit builders in order to effectively execute the vision for an exhibition.
- Work with Aquarium Biologists and Engineers to develop designs for live animal display habitats, containment, and life support systems.
- Manage several design projects simultaneously.
- Develop project design strategies and schedules and track progress against plan for on-time completion.
- Evaluate and propose design alternatives, as necessary, to help solve budget or technical challenges.
- Review and comment on shop drawings and visit fabrication facilities, as necessary, to ensure designs are understood and executed properly.
- Manage all design documents (files for record) and distribution to other team members (for review, revisions, etc.).
- Coordinate and facilitate meetings as necessary to ensure the continuing progress of the project.
- Meet regularly with the Director of Exhibits to discuss design ideas and provide status of projects.
- Follow all Academy safety regulations
- Perform other duties as assigned
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE:
The ideal candidate will possess a combination of the following education and/or equivalent experience:
- Bachelor’s degree (BS, BA) or equivalent from four-year college in architecture, design or other related field.
- 10 or more years of design experience focused on developing and translating vision into high quality guest or audience experiences in museums, entertainment or similar industries.
- Exhibit design experience for natural history museums, aquariums or zoos.
- Experience developing highly interactive and/or technical museum exhibit components.
- Strong track record of leading design for complex projects with diverse teams, tight deadlines, and marketing-driven “Grand Openings” or “Release Dates.”
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:
The ideal candidate will possess a combination of the following knowledge, skills and abilities:
- Knowledge and ability to create, read and understand design and architectural drawings and specifications.
- Knowledge and ability to effectively use AutoDesk (CAD), Vectorworks (CAD) at an advanced level. Knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint strongly desired.
- Knowledge and ability to use SketchUp and/or other design modeling tools is a plus.
- Knowledge about various techniques to safely and effectively display valuable museum specimens and artifacts.
- Ability to work with a wide diversity of people and to build consensus.
- Demonstrated ability to manage and deliver the design of moderate to large projects within established timelines and budgets.
- Ability to communicate with lay people as well as other designers to effectively convey design ideas and concepts and direct the development of design packages.
- Ability to accept and incorporate/respond to feedback from colleagues and supervisors.
- Ensure that exhibits are designed to be not only intellectually engaging but also emotionally engaging. Exhibits should have a “fun” or “Wow!” factor that will drive attendance to the Academy.
Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS & WORK ENVIRONMENT:
The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. Must be able to lift 30 lbs. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 50% of the time.
Please submit your cover letter and resume online at http://calacademy.snaphire.com. Note that the recruitment timeline for positions vary and depend on many factors, so it is impossible to accurately predict when a position will close. We appreciate your patience during this process. No phone calls please.
The California Academy of Sciences will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).
The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.
The California Academy of Sciences is a non-smoking facility. Smoking is also prohibited in Golden Gate Park.
- San Francisco, California, 94101, United States
- May 13, 2016
- Senior Exhibit Designer
- California Academy of Sciences