ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, OMSI opens the world premiere of the new touring museum exhibit The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes, which uses the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective—who got a recent shot of glamour from Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal on the BBC—as an entry point to explore the forensic science of detective work, both in the modern era and in Doyle's day.

For Design Week, OMSI is hosting an afternoon-long seminar called "Elementary, My Dear Designer: The Making of an Exhibit," which hopes to shed some light on what it takes to put together an exhibit like this one, from conception to development to the logistics of shipping it around the world.

"What most people are surprised about is the amount of time it takes from the idea to the realization of the exhibition," explains Jessica Grandbois, creative designer for the exhibit. "The idea for The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes was conceived in Chicago in the spring of 2010. The exhibition is opening in Portland in the autumn of 2013, three and a half years later."

Bringing the event from idea to reality takes not just time, but labor. Grandbois estimates that 145 people worked on putting the show together, from historians and scientists to writers, designers, videographers, carpenters, and more.

For OMSI's Design Week event, the museum is hosting presentations from OMSI Exhibit Design Manager Chad Jacobsen; Christina Wright, project manager for the Sherlock Holmes exhibit; and Todd Kehoe, OMSI's exhibit production manager. In addition to explaining how the exhibit came together, OMSI will offer tours of their exhibit-production shop, and of course, admission to the exhibit itself is included. At the end of the day, OMSI Event Director Andrea Middleton hopes attendees will come away with an appreciation for the fact that OMSI builds exhibits, she explains, "and we do it well."


"Elementary, My Dear Designer: The Making of an Exhibit" at OMSI, 1945 SE Water, Fri Oct 11, 11:30 am, $35, tickets at omsi.edu.