Week #5- Ken Johnson, Head of Design

    We end our first month of 32 views with our head designer, Ken Johnson.  Ken is a very busy man, with lots of projects on the go.  One of which is the gallery design for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition that is opening soon.  I brought a few copies of some of the winning photos for kids to see.  And we talked about what a designer at a museum might do with these photos.  But we first went around and said which one was our favourite.  These photos are all by Connor Stefanison, one of the winning photographers.  Connor lives  in Vancouver (hooray for BC Photographers).

    We went down into the basement to meet up with Ken.  And found quickly that his office is filled with lots of very cool things.  Especially this model of the Living Languages exhibition that will open in June 2014.  I think these photos of the small people are quite lovely, and seem so real.

    Ken also showed us some drawings and possible interactives that might be part of the exhibition.  Lots of testing ideas out down here.  Ken said that he finds out from curators what stories they want to tell, and then he designs the spaces to best tell those stories.  So collaboration is an important part of his job.

    This is a little display of the possible colours for paint and of the possible carpets in the exhibition.

    Ken also took us to the carpentry studio where all of the displays are built and where the signage and interpretive panels are made.  The backs of the sign paper are quite sticky.  We caught some kids!

    Then it was up to the temporary gallery space.  Just a few weeks ago we were up in this area and it was filled with crates and part of the Race to the End of the Earth exhibition.  Now we are starting to see the walls that will make up the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition that opens November 30th.  Changes happen fast around here.

    Ken pointed out the floorplan map he created

    and explained what will take shape over these next few weeks.  Needless to say, it won’t look like this

    Thanks Ken (he is the one crouching down on the left in the front)

    And thanks to all the families that took part.


    Chris O'Connor


    a/Director of Community Engagement and Regional Partnerships

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