Exposure: From Contact to Impact


In a group of nine museum studies students, collaboratively develop a 5,000 square foot object-based exhibition, using the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s Oceanic collection as a starting point. Then in a smaller group of three exhibition design students, collaboratively design the exhibition.


Culture is shaped by many factors. We developed an exhibition about how Oceanic cultures have been shaped through three types of exposure: exposure to environmental elements, other cultures and perceptions - both internal and external. Defining exposure as “a catalyst for change,” the exhibition encourages visitors to explore how Oceania has been shaped by exposure and reflect on how this evolution has occurred in their own personal cultures. The design of the exhibition was inspired by characteristics that often result from exposure: uncover, layers, worn, reveal and weather. These descriptors have varying connotations, which is a concept we wanted to convey about the implications of exposure. The use of raw and natural materials makes the exhibition feel worn and weathered, while being strengthened and beautiful. Through changing perspectives as they move from island to island, the visitors can see how the exhibition changes, emphasizing that a culture is shaped by many different influences. In order to better understand a culture, all impacts should be explored. 

Responsibilities: Exhibit Development, Exhibit Design

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