Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes) in Interior Studies / Exhibition + Narrative Environments


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Jehanzeb Shoaib

Second Advisor

Ernesto Aparicio

Third Advisor

Nick Haus Heywood


Learning, being the primary aspiration of museums, “is a byproduct of attention.”1 A visitor’s ability to focus and sustain attention on the objects, narratives, and messages within the exhibition environment profoundly influences their overall experience and the educational impact of their visit.

In an era of rapid digital evolution, changes in how information is consumed and communicated have led to shorter attention spans. Traditional museums, which are rooted in continuous, linear storytelling, now face a need for adaptation. This thesis advocates for an innovative exhibition design approach tailored to the realities of shorter attention spans, proposing curatorial and design strategies that introduce segmented narratives, diverse spatial configurations, sensory stimuli, and designated rest areas. By embracing a rhythmic experience, museums can combat “museum fatigue,” ultimately revitalizing their role as user-friendly cultural and educational institutions in the digital age.

Central to this approach is the concep-tualization of exhibition designers as composers, orchestrating sensory stimuli, graphics, lighting, nature, and participatory programming to craft rhythmic museum experiences. Through precedent analysis of existing exhibitions and personal observation of a broad array of experiential exhibitions this thesis explores both graphic design and spatial configurations. This exploration led to the development of a comprehensive graphic design manual and a series of spatial design strategies, presented as a set of abstract drawings and a catalog supplemented with text and diagrams.

The thesis book adopts a non-linear, rhythmic, and segmented structure, comprising four interconnected yet distinct books at live within a single casing: an observational journal, a graphic design manual, a catalog of strategies, and a set of abstract visualizations. These four books can be explored simultaneously, allowing for myriad relationships to be drawn between the ideas contained in each. As a metaphor of an exhibition, the book reflects the thesis development process and the dynamic nature of museum innovation, offering a flexible platform to engage and draw connections between the research findings and the designated strategies. Ultimately, this approach contributes to advancing museum practices and enriching visitor experiences in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

1. stephen bitgood. Attention and Value : Keys to Understanding Museum Visitors. Routledge, 2013.

Wu.Yujiang.INTAR.2024.mp4 (11771 kB)
The thesis book adopts a non-linear structure, comprising four interconnected yet distinct books within a single casing: an observational journal, a graphic design manual, a catalog of strategies, and a set of abstract visualizations.

Wu.Yujiang.INTAR.2024.jpg (3600 kB)
Precedent, abstract visualization, explanation, and application of the strategy “Conceptualize with Abstraction” showing how the four books are thematically interconnected.



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