Exhibition Designer

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. It is the first national museum in Canada to be built outside the National Capital Region. Located in the heart of Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the CMHR rises from the Prairie earth at The Forks, which has been a meeting place for over six thousand years.

The CMHR delivers an immersive, interactive and memorable experience for visitors of every background, age and ability. Each visitor has access to a fully reinvented museum experience that reflects a design approach that sets new Canadian and world standards for inclusion and universal accessibility.

We are seeking talented individuals who are motivated to share their passion and commitment to join our team. Together, we aim to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others, and to encourage reflection and dialogue.

Key Responsibilities 

Reporting to the Manager, Design and Production, the Exhibition Designer is responsible for conceptualizing and developing spatial, environmental, industrial, and 3-dimensional design solutions for the Core, Temporary, and Travelling Exhibition Programs, as well as one-off exhibits, special projects, and various installations for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). Working as a member of the Design and Production department, this position is also responsible for ensuring that all designs produced by the CMHR are tested against various standards prior to their release using Quality Assurance methods and industry best practices of inclusive design. The Exhibition Designer will collaborate closely with the Manager, Design & Production, the Senior Graphic Designer and act as a liaison between external service providers and the Exhibitions, Research and Design (ERD) division. 

  • Researches and develops original exhibition design concepts, utilizing design techniques to produce desired visual effects and interpretive educational messages in collaboration with other members of the Design and Production Department, Exhibitions Department, and the ERD division at large.
  • Develops innovative and creative conceptual ideas and detailed designs for complex spatial layouts, case and artifacts layouts, graphic and print designs, and more for CMHR’s Core Exhibition Program.
  • Develops the spatial adaptation of incoming/loaned exhibitions as well as in-house produced exhibitions for CMHRs Temporary Exhibition program, ensuring innovative designs and conceptual ideas meet CMHR’s inclusive design standards (accessibility, official languages, etc.).
  • Develops innovative and creative conceptual ideas and detailed designs for complex spatial layouts, case and artifact layouts, graphic and print designs, and more for CMHR’s Travelling Exhibition program, ensuring flexibility, modularity and adaptability for other (known as well as unknown) venues.
  • Prepares space configuration and build-out options, designs casework and architectural elements, selects materials and finishes and produces final construction/shop drawings.
  • Consults with conservation, preparatory, and exhibition technical staff on appropriate display materials, lighting requirements and placement of artifacts
  • Creates and develops 3D concept sketches, floor plans, elevations, colour renderings, final digital renderings, construction documentation, storyboards, 3D models (physical and digital render) and prototypes to effectively communicate interaction and design concepts.
  • Consults and coordinates with carpenters, electricians, painters, digital media, audio visual, and information systems staff on material selections, implementation of construction and installation; consults with Visitor Services and Security staff on circulation patterns and safety regulations to ensure a secure environment for artifacts and installations.
  • Liaises with graphic designers, spatial designers, media producers, audio visual experts, and multimedia specialists to create a multi-sensory experience for the visitor
  • Works with the Exhibition Specialist, consults and advises on lighting and placement of exhibit components.
  • Provides graphic design support for exhibition-related materials (environmental graphics, text panels, marketing materials, educational program materials, etc.).
  • Functions as a subject matter expert (SME) and provides expertise on spatial, graphic, and environmental design, as well as processes, technologies and standards (design, usability, universal design, and accessibility standards).
  • Develops and maintains a library of CMHR design drawings including floor plans, elevations, shop drawings, etc. for various internal and external uses.
  • Liaises with external producers, fabricators, printers, suppliers and installers, ensuring the highest quality of products, services and solutions are provided, meeting CMHR’s universal design standards.
  • Performs Quality Assurance Testing; working with other members of the ERD division, tests all designs against accessibility, usability, official language, and branding standards before release.
  • Coordinates activities and communication between external service providers (printers, fabricators, etc.) and the team.
  • Shares knowledge of best practices and experiences with colleagues.
  • Participates in ongoing professional development to keep abreast with emerging technology in the areas of exhibition design, graphic design and software. 

    Skills and Qualifications – Required


  • Bachelor’s degree in exhibition design, architecture, interior design, industrial design, 3D design or similar field and a minimum of 5 years’ experience in an in-house creative department or design firm or equivalent combination of relevant work experience and education
  • Extensive knowledge and experience working with various methods, practices, techniques and standards for spatial design, lighting design and graphic production, and dealing with associated issues.
  • Expert knowledge of design principles, and colour theory.
  • Proven, clear verbal, written, and visual communication skills.
  • Strong presentation skills.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative team environment and follow creative direction.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects while producing high quality work under tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in multi-disciplinary collaborative project teams.
  • Experience in identifying project requirements, evaluation and testing of products and systems.
  • Experience in coordinating activities and communication, and resolving issues, with peers, stakeholders, and/or service providers, and suggesting alternate solutions.
  • Ability to develop innovative approaches to creating and managing of exhibit design and production files and projects.
  • Advanced knowledge of materials and production methods used to create environments.
  • Advanced knowledge of spatial and 3D design software including but not limited to AutoCAD, Vectorworks, and SketchUp.
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Acrobat) and MS Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).

Skills and Qualifications – Desired  

  • Experience working for or providing service to a museum, cultural institution, or similar entity.
  • Proven experience delivering spatial, and graphic projects in the cultural domain.
  • Knowledge of best practices in the domains of accessibility and interior design.
  • Experience in lighting design preferred.
  • Ability to communicate in both official languages, oral and written.


  • Effective interpersonal skills
  • A demonstrated ability to multi-task expertly
  • Excellent ability to work under pressure
  • Strong time management and organizational skills
  • Discretion, tact, initiative and sound judgment
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Strict attention to detail
  • Creative
  • Flexible
  • Enthusiastic

Working Conditions and Physical Demands 

  • Work is in an office environment: works at a computer and on the floor in gallery and back of house.
  • May require long periods at a desk in front of a computer
  • Will require visiting suppliers and fabricators off-site at various locations
  • Some travel may be required.

Conditions of Employment

  • Security Screening Level – Reliability Status

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and résumé through CMHR’s Careers page at https://humanrights.ca/about/careers by November 20, 2016. The cover letter must provide concrete examples that illustrate how they meet the education and experience factors listed in the Qualifications – Required and Desired (if applicable). Résumés will be used as a secondary source to validate the education and experience described in the cover letter.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free recruitment processes and work environment. Please advise the HR representative if accommodation measures must be taken to enable you to apply and be assessed in a fair and equitable manner.

All applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt of their application. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Intent / Result of process: An eligibility list of qualified candidates may be created as a result of this process. The list would have a retention schedule of six months.

Contact email: humanresources@humanrights.ca