The Library: A Museum — KT Meaney

Curator: Molly Renda
date: October 3, 2011
Categories: Book & Magazine Design, Environmental Design, Experience Design, Typography
Tags: books, exhibit design, pedagogy
Discarded books were salvaged and repurposed for the title wall, designed by Kelley McClure.

Full disclosure: KT Meaney is a colleague and a friend. I am also a big fan. The Book is Dead, Long Live the Book, an exhibit (held for one evening) at NC State University’s College of Design in the spring of 2010, is an apt example of why I admire her as a designer and educator.

This exhibit was the result of The Library: A Museum, which KT describes as “a topical upper-level course focusing on exhibition design while (speculatively) working with the treasures of a rare book library.” KT creates worlds for her students to occupy and own, and synthesizes multiple, practical objectives in challenging, exciting ways. There’s a seamlessness to her theory and practice, her practice and pedagogy.

KT embraces and interrogates tradition, interrogates and harnesses new technologies. Her studio is a learning laboratory where software is never the driver, but students hone skills and expand their tool kits on and off the computer. What better way to engage with rare books than to start with the “real thing,” albeit unidentified treasures tucked away in the public stacks.


Photo by Natalie Brown

Installation by Griffin Friedman


Before starting the exhibit design, students created an image bank culled from their selected volume. This collage is by Megan O’Brien.

  • Carol

    Top of Mind Awareness

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