Engaging Spaces

Exhibition Design Explored

Creating a good exhibition is about telling a multi-dimensional and interactive story with a balanced and broad array of media – that is the task of the exhibition designer.

The challenge is to translate often complex and scientific information into a narrative environment that appeals to a wide audience. When executed effectively, spaces can educate, excite and entertain, providing the visitors with an experience to remember.

Highlighted in this book are 30 narrative spaces orchestrated by renowned Dutch exhibition architecture office Kossmann.dejong. Featured environments range from permanent presentations in museums and visitor centres to temporary exhibitions, among them the Urbanian Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Full-page photos accompanied by written explanations offer insight into how these narrative spaces are composed. Sketches, plans and sections make the designs fully comprehensible. A separate chapter explains a dozen key concepts - interaction, abstraction, media mix, routing and more - that inform most narrative environments.

Most environments featured in this book are temporary by nature, yet the components that went into their making remain valid today. That makes Engaging Spaces a valuable and timeless sourcebook for everyone interested in the field of exhibition design.


  • Context: an essay by curator and architecture historian Suzanne Mulder
  • Questions: an interview with the founders of Kossmann.dejong
  • Language: an explanation of 12 key concepts in exhibition design
  • Practice: a visual exploration of 30 narrative spaces designed by Kossmann.dejong
  • Drawings: a chapter dedicated to sketches, plans and sections of the featured spaces

Publication Details

  • 2010
  • Frame Publishers
  • Edited by Kossmann.dejong
  • English
  • 408 pages / full colour / soft cover
  • 24cm x 32cm
  • ISBN 978-90-77174-40-1


  • ‘I don’t really need any more proof that the Dutch can out-design us all. But if I did, I could refer to Engaging Spaces, a new monograph by Amsterdam “exhibition architects” Kossman.dejong. The book is big, and so are the ideas in it. Highly recommended. Published by the rather indispensable Frame Publishers.’ - Jonathan Alger