Project Development

The International African American Museum

The International African American Museum is unique in that it takes a large, global view of the African slave trade. The museum’s goals are to show how during African Slave trade years Charleston was just a small part of a large international network of slavers (only 4% of all the slaves taken from Africa went to the US), to describe Charleston’s historic role in it, and to create a center where African Americans can do genealogical research.

Midway through the design process, a new curator came on board and wanted to make changes. IAAM called us to help get from the existing 50% DDs to final, effective, buildable gallery experiences that reflected the new curator’s vision and which also made the exhibit designer happy.

The cornerstone of our trust-building method was to employ iterative scope reviews, gallery by gallery, and to quickly get into a working rhythm, solve smaller, more defined problems, develop positive personal relationships with team members, understand the wants and needs of all parties, and get a better feel for the entire project.

The iterative review process involved some design development, as well as value engineering, fabrication method and materials exploration, graphics options, etc. As we moved forward through this process, the plans more clearly expressed the museum’s vision. Pricing become tighter and tighter. At the end of the process, the museum was in a position to seamlessly move into production.

This involved twelve weeks of meetings and final 100% CDs and budget. Present at each of these sessions was a hand-picked team of Solomon Group Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), all with extensive experience in high-end, innovative museum projects.

Solomon Group subsequently won the contract for the fabrication and system integration of the 38,000 sf museum.

  • Exhibit Design Management
  • Artifact Display
  • Custom Fabrication + Finishing
  • A/V Systems Design + Integration
  • Project Management + Consultation