Job Details

University of Pennsylvania
  • Position Number: 3829573
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Position Type: Fine and Applied Arts - Graphic Design

Exhibition Designer

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Exhibition Designer

Job Profile Title
Designer, Exhibit

Job Description Summary
The Exhibition Designer leads design efforts to produce engaging exhibition environments and visitor experiences at the Penn Museum for diverse audiences. Reporting to the Director of Exhibitions, the position envisions, articulates, and advocates for creative design approaches for the overall environment for galleries, temporary exhibitions, and displays for the Museum.

The position collaborates and coordinates with content experts, curators, interpretive planners, graphic designers, multimedia designers, preparators, conservators, keepers, and others to safely, accurately, and appropriately present the Museum's research and collections in exhibition format. Along with the Graphic Designer and Interpretive Planner, they develop detailed design packages from concept through final design for presentation and communication of the design idea.

The Exhibition Designer manages the design aspects of exhibition planning--coordinate and facilitate design meetings, establish design budget projections, establishing and maintaining relationships with outside vendors and independent contractors, and liaise with all stakeholders to ensure clear communications throughout the process.

This position must be able to manage several design projects simultaneously, will respond to safety and environment standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and will be required to mentor undergraduate and graduate students on a regular basis.

Job Description

Job Responsibilities
  • Serve as primary exhibit designer on assigned projects. Envision, articulate, and advocate for creative design solutions to present the Museum's research and collections in memorable ways to diverse audiences.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with the core exhibition team on exhibit design, graphic design, lighting, media and interactive design, fabrication, and execution.
  • Function as primary liaison with external/contract design resources as needed.
  • Collaborate with the Interpretive Planner and Graphic Designer to prepare design presentation packages for key project milestones including detailed design packages from concept design through construction documentation.
  • 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.
  • Develop project design strategies and schedules and track progress against plan for on-time completion.
  • Review and comment on shop drawings and visit fabrication facilities, as necessary, to ensure designs are understood and executed properly.
  • Manage all archived design documents and distribution to other team members, when necessary.
  • Coordinate and facilitate meetings as necessary to ensure the continuing progress of the project.
  • Meet regularly with the Director of Exhibitions to discuss design ideas and provide status of projects.

  • Bachelor's Degree (BFA, BA, BS) in architecture, design, or related field, and 3-5 years experience in designing object-based museum exhibitions or similar environments.
  • Experience designing exhibitions incorporating media and interactive components is preferred. Demonstrated experience in designing multiple complex projects simultaneously with diverse teams and tight deadlines.
  • Ability to work with a wide variety of stakeholders to build consensus, with keen eye to creating intellectually and emotionally engaging exhibition environments is key.
  • Proven, clear verbal, written, and visual communication skill is required. Ability to work in multiple platforms to create and share drawings, such as VectorWorks, AutoCad, SketchUp, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and collections database software is required.
  • A working knowledge of materials and production methods used to create environments is needed. Experience working with students is a plus.

Application Requirement:

A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
University Museum

Pay Range
$43,919.00 - $66,183.00
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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