Saturday, November 29, 2008

Environmental Awareness Field, Green Museums Category

Emcee: Debra Poneman

Tim McNeil’s career has been dedicated to the pursuit of design excellence and creating engaging and informative visitor exhibition experiences.

For fifteen years Tim was a senior designer at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles where he participated in the design of over seventy exhibition environments, identities, and interpretive spaces for the Getty Center and Getty Villa.

He was the creative director for the Robert Redford environmental action center at the Natural Resources Defense Council’s headquarters in Santa Monica, CA. In 2003, the project held the distinction for being the first “green” exhibition and interpretive center in the nations “greenest” platinum LEED certified building.

Recently he has collaborated with a variety of museums, science and interpretive centers as a principal in Muniz/McNeil, a multi-disciplinary design and research practice. Current projects include the renovation of the Asian Art collection galleries at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the city of San Francisco’s environmental EcoCenter.

Tim is a professor in the Department of Design, and Director of the Design Museum at the University of California, Davis. He is the faculty director for courses in exhibition planning and design, one of the few dedicated exhibition design programs in the country.

As Director of the UC Davis Design Museum he is responsible for an ongoing exhibitions program and a design collection of over 5,000 objects. The Design Museum functions as a laboratory for exhibition design, interpretation and practice.

Tim is an influential advocate for the role a director plays in championing green initiatives within the museum environment. The 2007–08 season of eco-exhibitions at the Design Museum presented a range of work by designers at the forefront of sustainable and green design. The museum has implemented sustainable exhibition design practices that have served as a model for other museums to follow.

Tim is currently researching sustainable design methods and technological advances that are applicable to exhibition environments. He is also prototyping a range of interpretive exhibit tools to convey green building principles in LEED certified structures, with the goal of eventually promoting sustainable behavior in other residential and commercial environments.

Tim is a leading advisor on sustainable design solutions for museums. He is currently on the board of the California Association of Museums and working with the American Association of Museums to develop policies that encourage museums to adopt green initiatives and become environmental leaders.

Tim has received recognition for design excellence from the Society for Environmental Graphic Design, the University and College Designers Association, and the American Association of Museums. His work has been featured in several books and magazines including Interiors magazine and Wayfinding: Designing and Implementing Graphic Navigational Systems. He is a frequent speaker at museum and design conferences on the topic of exhibition design and green museums.