Design in 2017 – what will exhibitions look like?

As part of our series on the future of design in 2017, Nissen Richards Studio director Pippa Nissen looks at what will happen in exhibition design over the next 12 months.


What do you think 2017 will hold for exhibition design?

I think 2017 will bring two strands of exhibition design. Firstly, more immersive features and video, and using all technologies possible to create sound, film and images to take people on a journey somewhere. People are now expecting an ‘experience’ when they go to a museum, and things need to look good on Instagram.

Secondly, the opposite to this. Pared down exhibitions providing ‘the real thing’. Due to all of the social media around there is a thirst for an authentic experience; seeing the page that Shakespeare touched, or the chair that Wordsworth sat in.

What was your favourite exhibition design project in 2016?


A unique project this year that all of us at Nissen Richards Studio had a blast designing was You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 at the V&A.

A rollercoaster ride through the 1960s working with a team oozing creativity including the double Sony Award winning pair of Finn Ross, who designed the film for the theatre production of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and sound designer Carolyn Downing, as well as the wonderful lighting designer Zerlina Hughes.

The process and result was intense, and every inch of it is bespoke. No repeated rules or processes – I don’t know how we ever finished it!

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