The Design Minds

The Design Minds A Thoughtful Approach to Exhibit Design + Development The Design Minds provides full-service, content-based exhibit development and design, content development and scriptwriting, and interpretive planning to museums, visitor centers, corporations, and other public and private institutions.

We root our work process in thoughtful design: seeking creative, meaningful solutions that maximize both client value and audience experience. We are strongly committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our company, including hiring, decision making, and the planning and design process we provide clients. Embracing and celebrating cultural differences produces superior products, and we strive to embed these principles in every aspect of our work with every client.

Operating as usual

Looking Forward to 2021As we approach the end of this challenging year, we know there are many difficult months ahead. T...
12/22/2020

Looking Forward to 2021
As we approach the end of this challenging year, we know there are many difficult months ahead. The Design Minds team is committed to working with our friends, colleagues, and clients in 2021 to interpret the economic and social consequences of our historical and recent past. Together, we will continue to create meaningful experiences that help us all better understand our world.

Congratulations to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 1st Place winners of this year's National Association for Interpretati...
11/16/2020

Congratulations to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 1st Place winners of this year's National Association for Interpretation Media Awards in the Interior Exhibit category!

Our team is honored to have assisted the park with the interpretive development and design of this dynamic experience. Stop by the new Boston Mill Visitor Center, and then get out into the magnificent resources of Cuyahoga Valley!

Congratulations to our friends at Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site! Their newest brochure, designed by The Design Mind...
10/22/2020
Fort Ward Brochure: Bastions of Freedom

Congratulations to our friends at Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site! Their newest brochure, designed by The Design Minds, received Honorable Mention in the Southeastern Museums Conference-SEMC's 2020 Publication Awards. The site is a great place to visit during these challenging times with lots of walking trails and outside spaces across the 45-acre park.

To view the brochure and learn more about the site, visit the link below: https://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/fortward/default.aspx?id=118444

The new Fort Ward brochure, Bastions of Freedom , won honorable mention in the SEMC (Southeastern Museums Conference) Publication Competition. The brochure provides information on significant sites throughout Fort Ward Park

The Design Minds will be leading an upcoming public meeting to gather feedback and input on the future of the Frederick ...
10/20/2020
10-20 calendar

The Design Minds will be leading an upcoming public meeting to gather feedback and input on the future of the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe in Queen Anne, Maryland.

The meeting will take place on October 24th at the park from 11:00AM–1:00PM. We will be following CDC social distancing guidelines. Those who prefer to join virtually may join us via Zoom using the link below to register.

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAodOmsqDwiH9ZsM24IVlFjk82FaWzbQYPK

TODAY

We are proud to be a sponsor of the Association of African American Museums' 2020 conference and to support the importan...
08/05/2020

We are proud to be a sponsor of the Association of African American Museums' 2020 conference and to support the important work they do throughout the year. If you're attending this year's conference, visit us in the virtual exhibit hall August 5–7th #AAAM2020

We are grateful to each of our #AAAM2020 Sponsors! Thankful for the opportunity to work with each of the sponsors listed below in a our continuous efforts to grow AAAM!

▪️The National Museum of African American History and Culture
▪️cyberKinetics
▪️Tripadvisor
▪️PheedLoop
▪️1220 Exhibits
▪️Blackbaud
▪️Solid Light
▪️OnCell
▪️National Museum of African American Music
▪️Lucidea
▪️Universal Hip Hop Museum
▪️Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation
▪️Monadnock Media
▪️Derek Reynolds Designs
▪️Design Minds
▪️Ascender Films, Inc.
▪️TimeLooper
▪️Artwork Archive
▪️American Association for State and Local History
▪️LYRASIS

We would like to congratulate the Oregon Historical Society for receiving national recognition from two of the nation's ...
06/04/2020
Honoring a Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

We would like to congratulate the Oregon Historical Society for receiving national recognition from two of the nation's leading public history organizations for their Experience Oregon exhibit. These awards come at a time when it is difficult to celebrate, but also in a moment where cultural institutions must now more than ever commit to welcoming all members of their communities. Our colleagues at OHS never wavered in their commitment to including voices that have traditionally been left out or underrepresented in the planning and design process.
https://mailchi.mp/e5775eaa4c97/commitment-to-diversity-inclusion

We would like to congratulate the Oregon Historical Society for receiving national recognition from two of the nation's leading public history organizations for their Experience Oregon exhibit. These awards come at a time when it is difficult to celebrate, but also in a moment where cultural i...

Looking to improve your institution's virtual experiences? Museum Hack, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and the ...
04/28/2020
Registration Form - Wednesday, May 6th 1:00- 2:30 ET Museum Hack: How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love Virtual Experiences

Looking to improve your institution's virtual experiences? Museum Hack, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME) will be hosting a virtual session: How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love Virtual Experiences. The session will reimagine how we think about museums and virtual experiences and will provide tips and ideas for how to create engaging online experiences. Lonny Schwartz, Principal of The Design Minds, Inc. and Southeast NAME Representative, will be introducing presenter Tasia Duske, CEO Museum Hack, for the discussion.

The free session will take place Wednesday, May 6 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST. Registration is required to attend the event.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScOr5T4Utx9QhC9FKbTdAirpseD5H98RLGHp1G5Xoae1QI2Fg/viewform

AAM, NAME, and Museum Hack present: Museum Hack: How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love Virtual Experiences This session includes tips and ideas for how to create engaging online experiences. Date: May 6 at 1:00- 2:30 ET Location: Zoom Room (to be shared prior to event) Presenter: Tasia Duske, CEO Mu...

04/24/2020
National Park of American Samoa

There are still lots of ways you can enjoy our National Parks and museums from your home! Check out this video from our friends at the National Park of American Samoa showing a virtual tour of their visitor center with TDM designed exhibits. #FindYourPark

Join us LIVE for our Visitor Center virtual tour!

03/16/2020

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends:

All of us are working to combat the consequences of the major proliferation of COVID-19. To do our part, The Design Minds moved to remote work on Friday, March 13, 2020. Lonny, Mike, and our entire team want to share that while everyone's health is the priority, our goal is to continue project work and all business with as minimal interruptions as possible. Our entire team is prepared to work remotely in a seamless fashion.

This situation remains fluid. We do not know for how long we will be working remotely. What we do know is that we will remain dedicated to each of our projects. We remain grateful for the opportunities we have to work with you and look forward to getting through this together. Please do not hesitate to contact us via phone, email, or social media for more information.

Sincere Thanks,
Lonny, Mike, and The Design Minds team

Two of our team's NAI Certified Interpretive Planners, Ned Reddrop and Mike Lesperance, are also part of the CIP Revisio...
11/15/2019

Two of our team's NAI Certified Interpretive Planners, Ned Reddrop and Mike Lesperance, are also part of the CIP Revision Committee working to modernize NAI's certification program. Yesterday they joined Emily Jacobs, NAI Certification & Training Program Manager, for a session to share their progress and gather input for the revision process. #NAIconference

The Design Minds is proud to be sponsoring and exhibiting at the 2019 NAI National Conference in Denver, CO. Our design ...
11/13/2019

The Design Minds is proud to be sponsoring and exhibiting at the 2019 NAI National Conference in Denver, CO. Our design team includes several NAI Certified Interpretive Planners who specialize in creating interpretive plans and exhibit designs that help visitors forge emotional and intellectual connections with a site's resources. Stop by Booth 208 to learn more about our methodology and talk with some of our team. #InterpretivePlanning #NAIconference

The doors are open at the new Boston Mills Visitor Center for Cuyahoga Valley National Park! Our team worked with the pa...
11/11/2019
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Opening Boston Mill Visitor Center

The doors are open at the new Boston Mills Visitor Center for Cuyahoga Valley National Park! Our team worked with the park and community stakeholders to create universally accessible exhibits focused on a core interpretive theme: Renew. This concept represents the natural forces at work in Northeast Ohio, as well as the idea that visitors at national parks renew themselves and their relationships with place and people. Be sure to check out their new space next time you visit! #FindYourPark #ExhibitDesign

After 10 years and more than $7 million, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park finally has a “front door.”

Join us and our design team this Saturday, November 2nd, for a community meeting and project launch for the Frederick Do...
10/31/2019

Join us and our design team this Saturday, November 2nd, for a community meeting and project launch for the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe in Queen Anne, Maryland. We will be gathering information and feedback from community members and others who are interested in the possibilities at this unique site. #InterpretivePlanning #TalbotWorks

On Saturday, November 2, Talbot County will kick off the development of its newest Park--Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe. Join us as we work with LSG Landscape Architecture to develop a master plan and an interpretive plan to tell the story of Talbot County's native son, Frederick Douglass. #TalbotWorks

10/29/2019
Charlestowne Estates 1

Charlestowne Estates 1

Two important meetings this evening that impact our neighborhood. Unfortunately they overlap. We'll provide info post-meetings with as many details as possible including opportunities to provide feedback, etc.

• "The Interpretation (cultural and natural history) of Charleston County Parks’ Old Towne Creek County Park" (just south of Charles Towne Landing in Old Towne Rd.)

Tuesday, Oct 29th at 6:00pm at Orange Grove Charter School.

Led by led Charleston County Parks and the interpretive planning firm The Design Minds.

CCPRC will offer a public survey after the meeting for people that aren’t able to attend.

• "Presentation on the Status of the City's Plan to Redevelop the Old Piggly Wiggly Site"

Tuesday, Oct 29th at 6:00 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1157 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.

Led by Jacob Lindsey, the City of Charleston Planning Director.

The Design Minds, Inc will be hitting the ground running for this year's Southeastern Museums Conference! Stop by Booth ...
10/15/2019
See you in Charleston at SEMC!

The Design Minds, Inc will be hitting the ground running for this year's Southeastern Museums Conference! Stop by Booth #53 during the Resource Expo in the Crystal Ballroom or find us at our sponsored event, the Equity and Inclusion Action Team meet-up. #SEMC2019

The Design Minds, Inc will be hitting the ground running for this year's Southeastern Museums Conference! Stop by Booth #53 during the Resource Expo in the Crystal Ballroom to talk with Mike and Lonny about your institution's plans and exhibit needs. 

If you haven't already, check out #RiseUpThExhibit at the Newseum before the end of the year! The groundbreaking exhibit...
10/11/2019
Newseum

If you haven't already, check out #RiseUpThExhibit at the Newseum before the end of the year! The groundbreaking exhibit explores key moments in the modern #LGBTQ rights movement and is now a contender in this year's Shorty Social Good Awards.

Did you know we entered this year’s Short Social Good Awards? Check out our entry for our exhibit, #RiseUp: Stonewall and the #LGBTQ Rights Movement! #ShortyGood https://shortyw.in/2Vw5AfK

We are excited to be working with the Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Economic Development and Tour...
09/18/2019
Michael Marshall Design

We are excited to be working with the Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Economic Development and Tourism for Talbot County, Maryland to create a park dedicated to Frederick Douglass, a leader of the abolitionist movement and native of Talbot County. Follow the link to learn more about the project and our partners. #InterpretivePlanning #design

We recently shared the powerful words of Frederick Douglass. Today, we are proud to announce our team has been selected to design the new Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe.

Looking forward to working with Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism, LSG Landscape Architecture and The Design Minds to create this new destination, which will educate and inspire generations of visitors.

Learn more by following the link!

#TalbotWorks #OurPeopleMakeitWork #Design #publicart #landscapearchitecture #architecture #community #civilrights #history #interpretivedesign #landscape #landscapedesign #park #parks #parklife #BlackHistory #FrederickDouglass #BlackPride #RacialEquality #SocialJustice #equality

Designing a universally accessible exhibit can be a daunting task. The most important thing to consider when designing a...
09/03/2019
Accessibility at the Heart of the Design Process

Designing a universally accessible exhibit can be a daunting task. The most important thing to consider when designing accessible exhibits is to embrace a core philosophy of inclusivity. Check out a few of our tips and learn more about our recent findings on accessibility from Senior Exhibit Designer Adam Ressa. #ExhibitDesign

"Presenting the lives of enslaved Africans is a crucial facet of telling the full story of plantations in the pre-Civil ...
08/22/2019
Charleston plantation guides say a negative reaction to stirring history can be a good thing

"Presenting the lives of enslaved Africans is a crucial facet of telling the full story of plantations in the pre-Civil War time period," says Shawn Halifax, the cultural history interpretation coordinator at McLeod Plantation Historic Site in Charleston, SC, "It's part of having a more inclusive history that is providing multiple perspectives and viewpoints."

The Design Minds worked with McLeod Plantation to present the stories and lived experiences of African Americans transitioning to freedom at the site. These stories can challenge what some visitors expect to encounter but are critical to interpreting the full-history at plantations and other sites. #PublicHistory

Truth Telling

Fairgoers at this year's Delaware State Fair can explore new interpretive exhibits at DNREC's newly-renovated building. ...
07/25/2019

Fairgoers at this year's Delaware State Fair can explore new interpretive exhibits at DNREC's newly-renovated building. These exhibits highlight the science behind the work DNREC does to protect the environment and public health and to conserve our natural resources.

The Design Minds provided exhibit design services and fabrication oversight for this hands-on, interactive experience that includes a large touch-tank, interpretive graphic displays, and a giant floor map of Delaware! The fair is open through Saturday, July 27th. #TDMdesigns #DelStateFair

07/22/2019
Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity

We recently completed a project with Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity to develop exhibits for a new Historical and Educational Center at their International Office in Carmel, Indiana. Check out their video from the opening!

Welcome to our Historical and Educational Center—a new addition to International Office that honors and explores our history in innovative, beautiful ways!

Tonight, our generous donors got to be among the first to experience this awe-inspiring space. We can’t thank them enough for what they’ve made possible for our entire sisterhood.

#WEareZTA #ZetaIsForever #BeZetasTrue

You've gotten your visitors through the door, but what makes them care and leave with a lasting impression? Every museum...
07/16/2019

You've gotten your visitors through the door, but what makes them care and leave with a lasting impression? Every museum begins with a good story, but the techniques we use to tell it and the ways in which we foster inclusive learning is where the museum magic lies.

Join the National Association of Museum Exhibition - Southeast Region and Lonny Schwartz from The Design Minds for a panel discussion on cultivating lasting experience and a tour of the Atlanta History Center on Tuesday, July 23rd at 4:00 pm. Please RSVP using the link below ⬇️
https://forms.gle/cutCZxUr1ww9qL338

Have you registered for this year's Southeastern Museums Conference-SEMC in Charleston, SC? Early registration ends soon...
07/12/2019

Have you registered for this year's Southeastern Museums Conference-SEMC in Charleston, SC? Early registration ends soon and we hope to see you there!

The Design Minds is proud to be a supporter of SEMC and we are excited to be sponsoring the Equity and Inclusion Action Meet-Up at the conference.

#Pride month is a great time to discuss inclusion and diversity in the interpretive planning and #museum exhibit design ...
06/17/2019
Including Diverse Perspectives

#Pride month is a great time to discuss inclusion and diversity in the interpretive planning and #museum exhibit design process. Check out our latest post about the importance of including diverse perspectives in the process: https://mailchi.mp/de1df2ffd995/including-diverse-perspectives

Michael Lesperance, Principal Pride Month is a great time to discuss inclusion and diversity in the interpretive planning and design process. If you are not familiar with the American Alliance of Museum's work in this area, check out “Facing Change: Insights from AAM’s Diversity, Equity, Accessi...

A big thank you to the American Alliance of Museums and the countless volunteers, organizers, convention center workers,...
05/24/2019

A big thank you to the American Alliance of Museums and the countless volunteers, organizers, convention center workers, drivers, and more who made this year's Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo a success. See you next year in San Francisco! #AAM2019

The Design Minds will be at Booth 2003 at next week's #AAM2019 annual meeting and museum expo in New Orleans. Be sure to...
05/15/2019
Heading to AAM next week?

The Design Minds will be at Booth 2003 at next week's #AAM2019 annual meeting and museum expo in New Orleans. Be sure to stop by and say hello! 👋

Coming to New Orleans next week for AAM's Museum Expo 2019? You can find us at Booth #2003 in the exhibit hall May 20-22. We are a full service content-based exhibit design firm providing master planning, development, design, research, and writing to a number of clients, including museums, visitor ...

Plan on attending #AAM2019 next month in New Orleans? Be sure to visit the Exhibit Hall and see us at Booth 2003. The De...
04/17/2019

Plan on attending #AAM2019 next month in New Orleans? Be sure to visit the Exhibit Hall and see us at Booth 2003. The Design Minds is proud to be a continued sponsor of AAM's Annual Meeting and we're always excited to talk interpretive exhibit design and development.

We look forward to joining everyone tonight at the Newseum for a conversation with activist and actor Alan Cumming and N...
03/18/2019

We look forward to joining everyone tonight at the Newseum for a conversation with activist and actor Alan Cumming and NPR's Ari Shapiro. The event is followed by a reception held in our latest exhibit, "Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement."

#RiseUpTheExhibit #LGBTQhistory

Today, Alan Cumming is here at the Newseum! Fox 5 DC interviewed Cumming on #RiseUpTheExhibit, his own social activism and issues that still face the LGBTQ community.

Address

10364 Main St
Fairfax, VA
22030

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 17:30
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:30
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:30
Thursday 08:00 - 17:30
Friday 08:00 - 17:30

Telephone

(703) 246-9241

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Design Minds posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to The Design Minds:

Videos

About Us

The Design Minds, Inc., is a content-based exhibit design firm providing exhibit development and design, writing services, and interpretive planning to public and private sector clients. Our business is based on a simple commitment: produce quality products and maintain superior client service. Our work process is rooted in thoughtful design: seeking creative, meaningful solutions that maximize both client value and audience experience. We are strongly committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our company, including hiring, decision making, and the planning and design process we provide clients. We recognize that embracing and celebrating cultural differences produces better products with our clients and we strive to embed these principles in every aspect of our work with them.

Nearby advertising & marketing companies