As Assistant Director for Exhibitions, Mike Lawrence leads the Museum’s staff of exhibits professionals in the planning, development, design, execution and maintenance of all permanent and temporary exhibitions. He is responsible for management of the Deep Time Initiative, including the 30,000 square foot renovation of the Fossil Hall, the largest exhibit project in the Museum’s history. Prior to this position, Mike served for ten years as Chief of Design for the Office of Exhibits, where he was responsible for the design quality of all permanent and temporary exhibits, graphics and signage within the Museum. He provides oversight and guidance to contract design firms on major projects to ensure the architecture, exhibits, graphics and support materials meet the Smithsonian’s high standards for quality, durability, accessibility, and visitor enjoyment. Mike and his staff design temporary exhibits generated by the Museum and adapt traveling exhibits from other institutions to meet Museum requirements.
Before joining the Smithsonian, Mike served as Senior Architect and Designer for MFM Design, Inc., a Washington D.C. exhibit design firm. He contributed to the planning, content development, architectural planning and design of major exhibitions for the Smithsonian Institution, Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, National Park Service, and such private museums as the Frazier International History Museum in Louisville, KY and the Tomo Kikuchi Museum, Tokyo. Mike is strongly committed to engaging the public in the Museum’s mission—integrating our research, collections, and educational goals with memorable visitor experiences.