Einstein is an award-winning special exhibition for the American Museum of Natural History.
The goal of the exhibition was simple yet ambitious: to give visitors an understanding of Einstein’s revolutionary ideas. Graphic design proved crucial to meet this challenge, as phenomena such as traveling close to the speed of light, or viewing time as a fourth dimension, cannot be represented in three dimensions. Through text, graphics and media, however, these concepts can be explained in interesting and engaging ways.
Exhibition view, Gravity section with Peace & War section behindThematically and spatially, the exhibition was conceived as two broadly interconnected sections: first, Einstein’s personal life and humanitarian interests, and second, Einstein’s scientific work. Typography, color and line drawings linked and harmonized different sections.
Peace & War graphic timeline, detailThe Life and Times sections were unified by a wall-based timeline constructed from large printed panels. Graphic systems of panel width, type, and colour established a clear hierarchy which allowed for multiple levels of reading and created a visual rhythm which carried the viewer forward through Einstein's life story.
Exhibition view, Miracles of 1905Through the use of an understated colour palette and reader-friendly typography, these biographical sections were an expansive yet intimate space for quiet contemplation of Einstein's writings and other works.
Exhibition view, Light section with Time section behindIn contrast, the Science sections burst with bold color and interactive exhibitry, conveying the excitement and adventurous spirit behind Einstein's revolutionary theories on Light, Time, Energy and Gravity.
Exhibition view, Legacy sectionEinstein's work continues to inform science today, particularly in the search for a Grand Unified Theory. The exhibition design was conscious of describing Einstein’s science as integral to our time, as a reflection of his passionate personality and continuing legacy.
Special exhibition for the American Museum of Natural History, produced in cooperation with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. On view at AMNH from November 2002 through August 2003.
Shani K Parsons (lead designer), Iris Jan, Tim Martin, Stephanie Reyer, Caroline Seitz, Craig Stout, and Catharine Weese
Press & Awards
EINSTEIN received awards from the Art Directors Club, Society for Environmental Graphic Design, and ID Magazine, as well as press coverage in The New Yorker and The New York Times.