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Vacancy for Exhibitions Project Manager

The Design Museum

Vacancy for Exhibitions Coordinator

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Job title: Exhibitions Project Manager

Organisation: The Design Museum

Type: Permament, 37,5 hours

Salary: up to £30,000 per annum, dependent on experience

Location: London, UK

The museum is looking for a self-motivated and experienced individual to join the Exhibitions team to work on the delivery of high-profile exhibitions.

The Exhibitions Project Manager works alongside the curatorial and external design teams to ensure the production and installation of every element of the exhibition is successfully delivered, to museum standards, on time and to budget. They are responsible for the delivery of specific exhibitions, from concept development through to opening and post-opening maintenance. They are also responsible for the effective organisation and delivery of specific touring exhibitions including prospecting, communications with national and international venue partners, the management of tours including logistics, contracts, schedules, and budgets.

The role will suit an individual with previous project management experience in coordinating and delivering museum exhibitions with significant budgets. The successful candidate will be an expert communicator, adept at developing strong working relationships, both internally and with external delivery partners, to deliver engaging and commercially successful exhibitions and displays.

Job description

The role will work with a wide range of staff from across the museum along with external partners, contractors, and designers, managing sizeable budgets throughout all stages of the project. They will be responsible for managing a range of people including direct line management of junior project managers/exhibition coordinators, freelance contractors, and volunteers.

Production & administration

  • In collaboration with Curators, internal and external partners, coordinate the smooth delivery of exhibitions ensuring that clear schedules are disseminated and adhered to by all parties.
  • Chair internal Project Team Meetings and ensure that exhibitions develop according to the exhibitions’ timeline and budget.
  • Provide timely and efficient coordination between the Exhibitions Department and the wider museum, ensuring that exhibition information is clearly communicated.
  • Work closely with Curators, co-ordinating the interpretation strategy meetings and ensuring that the Interpretation Plan for each exhibition is properly developed and implemented.
  • Oversee the development of 2D and 3D elements of exhibitions, making sure that Health and Safety and access requirements are met in compliance with CDM principles as required.
  • Manage tendering processes and, with the support of the Head of Exhibitions or the Head of International Engagement, deliver contractual agreements between the Design Museum and service providers, including guest curators, designers and build contractors.
  • Oversee the coordination of loan agreements, object transport and insurance arrangements.
  • Manage the selection of contractors for exhibitions, factoring in suitability and cost efficiency for the project. Encourage sustainability wherever possible, recycling materials and re-using Design Museum kit where appropriate.

Installation & de-rig

  • Plan and manage installation and de-rig periods, leading a largely freelance technical team and overseeing all activities on site, including condition reporting.
  • Circulate detailed planning schedules for installations and de-rig to relevant parties, including curators and external contractors, ensuring that museum staff are informed of plans well ahead of time.
  • Complete risk assessments and ensure that all manual handling and COSHH assessments are completed and disseminated, and that PPE is issued and worn by the technical team.
  • Ensure on-site teams are thoroughly briefed each day with regards tasks and exhibition activity.
  • Oversee the relationship with on-site contractors, facilitating communication with the Facilities Department as required.


  • Maintain meticulous budget records to ensure budget administration is carefully managed.
  • Regularly report on budget activity to the Head of Exhibitions and / or Head of International Engagement, colleagues in the Finance Department and Directors as required.
  • Demonstrate financial awareness and strive to make the museum a financial success making savings where possible and for exhibitions to be delivered on budget.


  • Champion Touring activity across the museum and keep Touring at the forefront of exhibition development throughout the process of delivery in Kensington, advising on how they could be made suitable for touring and maximising opportunity.
  • Ensure that documentation related to exhibitions such as loans, design drawings and object lists are meticulously prepared for touring purposes. Wherever appropriate, incorporate touring exhibition requirements into all contracts.
  • Project manage the delivery of touring exhibitions including installation and de-rig at host venues as required.
  • Play an active role in the Exhibition Department’s touring ambitions including but not limited to venue finding, developing tour packs and creating brochures.
  • Implement new processes to further integrate touring into the exhibition planning process.

People management

  • Line manage Junior Project Managers, Exhibition Coordinators, leading and inspiring them to achieve the highest level of performance and develop their skills and talents to enable them to reach their full potential.
  • Lead by example to demonstrate and embed the museum’s values within the team.
  • Manage a direct report in accordance with the museum’s policies and procedures.
  • Manage volunteers, treating them as integral members of the museum and Exhibitions team; be responsible for their induction, supervision, and timely review meetings.

Application instructions

Closing date: Sunday 13 November 2022

Closing hour: midnight

Location: the museum is trialling a part-remote working arrangement, where staff work 60% of their role at the museum and 40% remote

Special demands of the role: there may be requirement on occasion to work outside of the United Kingdom

Interviews: Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Interviews for this role will take place in person at the museum.

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