Vox Pop

The Museum and Exhibition Design Group is looking to create a new, more proactive strategy (DW 8 Sept). What do you think should be top of its agenda?

‘This group has sometimes appeared to be introspective and defensive. It should focus on the unique creative thrill of exhibition work; the encouragement of free-fall collaboration between the many creative disciplines now needed to develop any significant project… not just architects or engineers, but anyone interested in telling a good story.’

Tim Molloy, Head of Design, Science Museum

‘The big question is: “Who needs exhibitions – architecture and design exhibitions, especially?” To many people, particularly the young, museums and galleries are still elite and intimidating. Why are high street retail displays more interesting than most exhibition installations? Exhibition designers should draw more on contemporary culture, and learn about different audiences. Unless exhibition design revolutionises itself the digital competition will draw more people away from museums and galleries. MEDG has a lot of catching up to do.’

Stuart MacDonald, Director, The Lighthouse

‘Above all, the group needs to raise its profile. We knew only vaguely of its existence and have never been approached to join – yet, according to the Design Week league tables, we’re one of the more prolific designers. It also needs to decide what it is – museums? exhibitions? environments? public or corporate or all of that and more? Then, when the membership is more broadly representative, the group needs to act on two or three big issues and tell everyone what they are doing – there’s so much that can and needs to be done. That way we can be ready and armed for the next Dome.’

Lois Jacobs, Chairman, Caribiner

‘The MEDG, like the Chartered Society of Designers is only as dynamic as its members want it to be. Both groups suffer from a lack of commitment from the industry. Any new initiative must ask individuals and especially companies to give up time to put things back into the industry. The MEDG needs to project itself to employers to communicate that there is value in giving up company money and staff time for the group’s activities.’

Neal Potter, Past Chair of MEDG and current Chair of CSD Exhibitions Group

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