Timothy J. McNeil – research / practice


Timothy J. McNeil

I am a professor of design and director/chief curator of the UC Davis Design Museum at the University of California, Davis where I teach the next generation of exhibition design thinkers and practitioners. I developed and authored the exhibition design curriculum in the UC Davis department of design and serve as the primary instructor for undergraduate courses on exhibition design and environmental graphic design, and thesis advisor for graduate students researching exhibition related design theory, criticism, and practice. My writing and creative practice research exhibition design history, the methods that define exhibition and experience design practice, and contribute to critical discourse in the museum and an evolving exhibition design field.

I have over 30 years of professional design experience as a principal with Muniz/McNeil a multi-disciplinary design and award-winning research practice, and as a senior designer at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles developing over 70 exhibition, signage, and interpretive environments for the Getty Center (opened 1997) and the renovation of the Getty Villa (opened 2006). I co-founded Re-envisioning Exhibition Design (2014) and a series of international summits called Chaos at the Museum to advance exhibition and experiential design understanding, elevate professional practice, and create a design-centric forum for debate, analysis, future collaboration, and exchange.

I have a masters in exhibition design from University for the Arts London and a bachelors in graphic design from Middlesex University. My work has been recognized for design excellence by the Society for Experiential Graphic Design, the University and College Designers Association, and the American Alliance of Museums, featured and cited in multiple publications and media outlets, and is held in the collection of the Getty Research Institute. I frequently present at national and international conferences, workshops, and educational forums on museum, exhibition, and design issues. I have served on the California Association of Museums Board of Directors, juried international design competitions for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and I am a long-standing member of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design’s (SEGD) academic task force.

For further information about me and my work:


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