The construction of scale in museum exhibition design: negotiating context and narrative with object display
Historical museums take large-scale events and attempt to recreate them within the spatial confines of the museum space. This shift from the large-scale event to the small-scale display is enacted in order to present a history to the public for educational and preservation purposes. This construction of scale, while necessary, is not without consequences. It is important for exhibit designers to acknowledge and understand how their decisions about scale influence the interpretation of the narrative. This study examined the exhibit designer's role in the construction of scale, and the decisions made by them as they construct narrative space. A conceptual framework was generated to examine these issues, and two assessment tools were devised for designers that help to examine the implications of their design decisions on the constructed meaning and significance of the exhibit. Case studies of two interpretive historical exhibits were then conducted using the newly devised assessment methods.