Challenging Structure


Cleveland Museum of Art

Practice Area


Cleveland Museum of Art

Project Vision

The intent of this exhibition was to convey the process by which contemporary architect Frank Gehry designs a building, in particular the Peter B. Lewis Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. To make the gallery feel like a working space, worktables like those used in a model-making studio were constructed out of plywood, two-by-fours, and carriage bolts. The basic steps of the Gehry process were simplified into five sections, communicated through didactic text panels made of aluminum but fashioned to look like stainless steel. This effect responded to and reflected the stainless steel Gehry uses in constructing the exteriors of his buildings. Gehry’s studio uses CATIA, a program developed for airplane design, so examples of this program were presented on a large plasma screen. A computer showed the architect’s CAD drawings of the Peter B. Lewis Building; this interactive allowed the visitor to view an entire drawing just as it would look in CAD.

Project Details
This simply staged exhibition is an excellent example of using modern materials to great effect. Exhibition graphics and interpretation panels are mounted on a colored wall that adds warmth to the space. Line drawings and models add interest to the walls. The rough study models are very effectively displayed on simple, similarly rough tables. The exhibition has great clarity as a result of its spareness.
Juror 1
Design Team

Jeffrey Strean (Chief Designer), JoAnn Dickey, Jeffrey Grove

Design Firm

Cleveland Museum of Art


Carroll Graphics, Tomco Metal, CounterCab, Dougherty Lumber, Jensara, Schirmer Construction, KAPCO, CMA Installation Team, CMA New Media Initiatives, CMA Distance Learning, CMA Design Team