How exhibitions work


Our 3D Design intern shares insights into the development of How Cities Work, a children’s exhibition opening at Museum of Sydney this December.

Over the last six weeks, I have been working as a 3D Design Intern for the upcoming How Cities Work exhibition. Alongside the team in Curatorial & Exhibitions, we have been putting together the designed elements of the interactive exhibition for children. Specifically, I have been working on the Green Spaces interactive panels, which involves taking concepts about urbanised living and translating them into dynamic elements, triggered by interaction with the panels. During my internship, I have mocked up a model for each of the five panels by cutting and assembling foamcore boxes, separating the illustrations into graphic layers, configuring the electronics and making prototypes of the lighting and moving parts within the panels.

Being the first 3D Design intern that SLM has worked with, it has been an interesting experience for the whole team to integrate a student intern into the design process. University projects often have less practical constraints so I have found it somewhat challenging to come up with creative and engaging ideas while considering cost, time and material limitations. With this being said, working with the experienced design team has revealed ways to work around these constraints to reach a desirable outcome, and has definitely encouraged me to consider the bigger picture for my own projects.

So far, this internship has been an eye-opening experience in regards to the collaborative effort required from all those who are involved in producing an exhibition. The opportunity to work independently, with other designers, and with staff members from various departments has been valuable to my professional development. I have particularly enjoyed the hands-on elements of my internship and creating tangible models that allow the SLM staff to see and interact with my work and in turn, provide feedback that allows me to develop my concepts on the spot.

Undertaking an internship with SLM has given me the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to an exhibition that excites the inner child within me. I was attracted to this type of work experience as an important stepping-stone for my career as a designer and as a result, I have developed my passion for interaction design while sparking an interest in play-based learning for children. I can’t wait to see my input come to life when How Cities Work is exhibited at the Museum of Sydney in December!

Isabelle Edwards

  • Three exhibition cases.
  • Woman with exhibit.
  • Woman working on model.
  • Exhibition cases being worked on.


Annual Appeal 2019Monday 6 May 2019

Our museums are held ‘in trust’ for future generations and we must preserve them to ensure a future as valuable as their past. We can do this with your support through our Annual Appeal 2019.

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Sydney Open

Become part of Sydney Open 2019: EOI now openWednesday 27 March 2019

Our exciting program for Sydney Open 2019 will open even more buildings and spaces that are usually off-limits to the public, alongside new talks and tour experiences. To be part of it all, we invite you to submit an expression of interest by 30 April.

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Museum Volunteer opportunity: Vaucluse HouseThursday 4 July 2019