MFA Design, UC Davis
Edward Whelan comes to Davis from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he worked as an exhibition designer for the Philbrook Museum of Art. While working on a number of exhibitions at Philbrook, Whelan became interested in co-design and how those methods could be brought into museums. With close to 10 years experience in the museum field, Whelan plans to continue his relationships with museums and will be the lead designer for the upcoming Wiley/ Slant Step exhibition at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art (2022). Whelan received his B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011.
Instead of designing for cultures, I would like to use my thesis to co-create a framework that will allow museums to design with communities. Exhibition design can greatly benefit from including and responding to community needs. By learning from past participatory design examples and from community members, I plan to develop a series of projects to show how museums can have successfully designed exhibitions while releasing institutional control.