Senior 3D Designer

The Exploratorium develops, fabricates, and maintains educational interactive exhibits and installations for public display at the Exploratorium’s site in San Francisco and other venues throughout the world. The Senior 3D Designer is involved from initial concept development to final production, helping create exhibition environments that are immersive and hands-on. The ideal candidate will be able to envision environments in which spaces, exhibits, and people interact. The ideal candidate will also have a knack for getting his/her hands dirty, enjoy constant learning, and be able to offer a unique perspective across many areas of exhibition design, from science museums to art museums, healthcare, and outdoor installations in public spaces. This position calls for both an understanding of the 3D and 2D aspects of an environment, from landscape or architectural work to fixtures, furniture, and graphic design, and an ability to move between them. This position will help create full-scale immersive prototypes, and collaborate with designers from all backgrounds including industrial design, architecture, engineering, and fine arts. The Senior 3D Designer reports to the Director of Exhibition Design, but works closely with Project Directors and Project Managers.


  • Execution: Consistently deliver high-quality exhibit/exhibition designs across a number of projects with minimum supervision.
  • Idea Generation: Produce quick and expressive 2D and 3D sketches to communicate and document design ideas, including those of other team members, clients, and project partners.
  • Documentation:
    • Produce high-quality architectural and exhibition renderings at various scales, including lighting, textures, atmospheric effects, and engaged visitors.
    • Produce professional-level design documentation that meets standard technical and code requirements for fabrication and installation, including materials, dimensions, and ADA.
    • Produce exhibition design intent drawings for fabrication, standard architectural drawing sets, and permitting sets.
  • Flexibility: Adapt to project constraints with proactive solutions; work comfortably and productively on a range of projects from grant-based R&D to projects for external clients; work collaboratively with exhibit developers on the design of hands-on interactive exhibits; work collaboratively with design, engineering, graphics, editorial, web, and production staff; help prepare for and participate in client/community meetings and presentations.
  • Judgement: Make timely exhibit/exhibition design and development decisions; show strong creative discernment and good discipline around editing of ideas.
  • Production/Vendor Oversight: Organize and coordinate design and production by vendors and outside fabricators; oversee production in-house and outside to ensure consistent look and feel, build quality, and function
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Studio-based bachelor’s degree or higher in architectural design, landscape architecture, industrial design, or similar, from an accredited college/university or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum five years’ professional experience in the fields of space design such as architecture, landscape architecture, retail, hospitality, exhibit, or urban design.
  • Concept sketching skills for both quick ideation as well as more complete presentation sketches, CAD drawing in the form of plans and elevations (AutoCAD, REVIT, SketchUp/ LayOut preferred), and 3D CAD modeling and visualization (SketchUp/ LayOut, AutoCAD, 3D StudioMax preferred).
  • Extensive knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Excellent storytelling and narrative skills; model-making skills and knowledge of machine and wood shop tools a plus.
  • Knowledge of construction and fabrication processes.
  • Knowledge of building systems and construction techniques a plus.
  • Outstanding communication, presentation, and design team collaboration skills.
  • Talent for collaboration and effective teamwork, and demonstrated ability to work with people at all levels of an organization.
  • Excellent eye for visitor use issues, and demonstrated ability to work with visitor research and evaluation department to address issues
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to adhere to budgets and timelines for individual exhibits, and to meet budget and timeline project goals.
  • Interest in science, informal learning, and community engagement a plus.


This position is open until filled


This is a fixed-term (ends 4/14/2026), full-time (37.5 hours per week), non-exempt, union position that includes benefits. The starting range for this role is $39.46 to $41.79. This range represents steps 1-3 on a 6 step union pay scale. Please, no phone calls in regards to this job. To apply, please visit the Exploratorium job page.

Condition of Employment: Willingness and ability to provide proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination will be required. All medical or sincerely held religious belief exemptions regarding vaccination status will be considered.

The Exploratorium is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity, inclusion and respect. We welcome and strongly encourage applicants from all backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment.


Piers 15/17, San Francisco, CA 94111

Website: No phone calls, please

The Exploratorium is committed to a diverse workforce.