Students Designing the Museum: A Class Project in Lighting Design

This week’s post is by Graduate Research Assistant Krystle Brewer. Along with several other members of the museum staff, including myself, Shawn, and GRA Mary Kathryn Moeller, Krystle has been assisting Professor Paulette Hebert’s Interior Design students with a hypothetical lighting design project at the Postal Plaza Gallery. We began with a tour of the facility at the beginning of the semester, and a few weeks ago were invited to attend presentations of the students’ final projects.

As we continue to build the OSU Museum of Art, we are constantly finding new ways for students to interact with and learn from the museum outside of just a focus on the art objects. From the Department of Design, Housing, and Merchandising, Professor Paulette Herbert, who is on our Academic Advisory Board, assigned her lighting design class the ambitious project of planning the lighting for the new Postal Plaza Gallery.

Professor Paulette Herbert’s lighting design class gets a tour of the under construction Postal Plaza Gallery with Construction Project Manager Jay Cheves of OSU Long Range Facilities Planning.

Professor Paulette Herbert’s lighting design class gets a tour of the under construction Postal Plaza Gallery with Construction Project Manager Jay Cheves of OSU Long Range Facilities Planning.

The students were given floor plans and a tour of the under construction building at the beginning of the semester and were able to ask questions to the “client” (The OSU Museum of Art staff). The students found actually being in the space helpful in envisioning what their plans should accomplish in addition to practice of working with a client.

Final projects for Professor Paulette Herbert’s lighting design class.

Final projects for Professor Paulette Herbert’s lighting design class.

Each student planned the types of lights to be used in Gallery A, Gallery B, and either the lobby or a hypothetical coffee bar area with an attention to archival and eco-friendly practices. For their class final, the students presented their plans to their class and the OSUMA staff.

Stormy Hill, third year student in the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising, proposes her furniture plan for the conference room and a seating area.

Stormy Hill, third year student in the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising, proposes her furniture plan for the conference room and a seating area.

The OSUMA hopes to continue to provide ways for all departments to benefit from the museum in a variety of creative capacities.

Also a third year student in the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising, Kaitlin Jones explains the lighting details of her plan.

Also a third year student in the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising, Kaitlin Jones explains the lighting details of her plan.

Are you interested in developing a student project at the OSUMA? Contact us—we’d love to help!

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About osucurator

Louise Siddons is Associate Professor of Art History at Oklahoma State University and founding curator of the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art. She maintains this blog as a record of her students' work with the Museum's permanent collection as well as more generally with topics related to museum studies.
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