Work On What You Love

Bruce Mau: Rethinking Design

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  • PROGRAM:
    Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • AUDIENCES:
    Designers, Art Lovers, General Public 
  • LOCATION:
    Philadelphia
  • SOLUTIONS:
    Exhibit Design
    Project Management
    Content Development
    Fabrication
    Installation

Work On What You Love — Bruce Mau: Rethinking Design

Each year, the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) and Collab, a group of design professionals and enthusiasts, present the Design Excellence Award to an individual who inspires the design community.

Awarding a Visionary

This year, the Design Excellence Award was given to Bruce Mau, Chief Design Officer for Freeman. A design visionary, Mau has worked with countless corporations, institutions, and countries on game-changing projects utilizing his design thinking methodology.

Mau initially gained international recognition for his graphic and communication design, and has since diversified his practice into architecture and urban design, sustainability and system design, and education. 

Collaboration at the Core

As part of the Design Excellence Award, PMA asked Mau to showcase his life’s work in the museum with an exhibit focused on his collaborations and 24 design principles. These principles inspire people to approach challenges in life and work with a designer’s eye and creative mind, just as Mau does in his own work.

Freeman collaborated with PMA, Mau, and his team to develop an immersive exhibit not only featuring but connecting nine of Mau’s design projects and telling an immersive, inspirational story. Mau worked with the team to create an experience that would move audiences physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Utilizing journey mapping, we built the exhibit to allow each individual to take in the experience at his or her own personal preference. 

A Life’s Work

From Mau’s work with Frank Gehry to his Incomplete Manifesto to all 200 books Mau authored and/or designed (never before presented as one body of work), design thinking radiated from all nine areas. Clean lines, white walls, and the use of lighting brought life to each featured segment — there was meaning and purpose behind every detail. The environment represented the simplicity and design thinking that Mau personally applies to his work.

Design enthusiasts and PMA patrons flocked to the exhibit and shared their experience with others. In the opening weekend alone, the exhibit received over 5,000 tweets and made more than 23,000 social media impressions. 

Photo Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Photo by Timothy Tiebout