Set and Exhibit Designers

Description

Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

Tasks

  • Examine objects to be included in exhibits in order to plan where and how to display them.
  • Acquire, or arrange for acquisition of, specimens or graphics required to complete exhibits.
  • Prepare rough drafts and scale working drawings of sets, including floor plans, scenery, and properties to be constructed.
  • Confer with clients and staff in order to gather information about exhibit space, proposed themes and content, timelines, budgets, materials, and/or promotion requirements.
  • Estimate set- or exhibit-related costs including materials, construction, and rental of props or locations.
  • Develop set designs based on evaluation of scripts, budgets, research information, and available locations.
  • Direct and coordinate construction, erection, or decoration activities in order to ensure that sets or exhibits meet design, budget, and schedule requirements.
  • Inspect installed exhibits for conformance to specifications, and satisfactory operation of special effects components.
  • Plan for location-specific issues such as space limitations, traffic flow patterns, and safety concerns.
  • Submit plans for approval, and adapt plans to serve intended purposes, or to conform to budget or fabrication restrictions.
  • Prepare preliminary renderings of proposed exhibits, including detailed construction, layout, and material specifications, and diagrams relating to aspects such as special effects and/or lighting.
  • Select and purchase lumber and hardware necessary for set construction.
  • Collaborate with those in charge of lighting and sound so that those production aspects can be coordinated with set designs or exhibit layouts.
  • Research architectural and stylistic elements appropriate to the time period to be depicted, consulting experts for information as necessary.
  • Design and produce displays and materials that can be used to decorate windows, interior displays, or event locations such as streets and fairgrounds.
  • Coordinate the removal of sets, props, and exhibits after productions or events are complete.
  • Select set props such as furniture, pictures, lamps, and rugs.
  • Confer with conservators in order to determine how to handle an exhibit's environmental aspects, such as lighting, temperature, and humidity, so that objects will be protected and exhibits will be enhanced.
  • Assign staff to complete design ideas and prepare sketches, illustrations, and detailed drawings of sets, or graphics and animation.
  • Observe sets during rehearsals in order to ensure that set elements do not interfere with performance aspects such as cast movement and camera angles.
  • Design and build scale models of set designs, or miniature sets used in filming backgrounds or special effects.
  • Read scripts in order to determine location, set, and design requirements.
  • Attend rehearsals and production meetings in order to obtain and share information related to sets.
  • Arrange for outside contractors to construct exhibit structures.
  • Provide supportive materials for exhibits and displays, such as press kits and advertising, posters, brochures, catalogues, and invitations and publicity notices.
  • Incorporate security systems into exhibit layouts.
  • Coordinate the transportation of sets that are built off-site, and coordinate their setup at the site of use.

Knowledge

Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

Work Values

Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Lay Titles

Art and Exhibits Director
Art Coordinator
Art Director
Artist
Curator
Design Chief
Designer
Display Coordinator
Display Designer
Exhibit Designer
Exhibit Preparator
Exhibitions Curator
Exhibits Manager
Food Stylist
Historical Society Window Dresser
Installations Designer
Miniature Set Designer
Museum Curator
Presentation Specialist
Production Manager
Room Designer
Scenic Arts Supervisor
Scenic Designer
Set Decorator
Set Designer
Show Design Supervisor
Stage Scenery Designer
Stage Set Designer
Television Scenic Design Supervisor

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$24.18 hourly, $50,300 annual.
Employment (2008):
8,680 employees