Image credit: Michal Klimczak

Museum of Science Fiction: Preview Museum

Exhibit Design Competition

Who can participate? This competition is open to students, architects, industrial designers, and exhibit designers. Teams or individuals from the United States or abroad may participate.

Project Description
The Museum of Science Fiction is a nonprofit organization, which seeks to establish a science fiction museum in Washington, DC. As an initial step, the museum will build a temporary, semi-permanent preview museum, which will be used to:

  • Establish an immediate presence for the museum in Washington DC, and generate excitement and media interest in a future, full-size museum.
  • Solicit donations for through fundraising events.
  • Test innovative new technologies and gain insights into the visitor experience to inform planning for a future, full-size museum.

Additionally, the preview museum exhibits will:

  • Engage and educate visitors with compelling content, design, programming, and state-of-the-art visual and digital installations.

  • Create a social hub for the science fiction community.

  • Be seen as a comprehensive source of science fiction knowledge.

  • Demonstrate the educational potential, particularly in the STEM fields, of a science fiction museum.

Program Requirements

A 3,000-4,000 SF temporary preview museum, consisting of gallery space to house interactive exhibits related to science fiction. The exhibits will be rotated periodically over the four-year life of the preview museum. At any given time, the gallery must accommodate at least seven exhibits. The gallery must also be able to accommodate special programs and fundraising events with seating for 150 people. Exhibit designs should emphasize the multi-use aspect of the space and creative ways to safely reconfigure the exhibits to provide open space for events, ideas for immersive and interactive environments, and ways to incorporate technology.

Designs should emphasize creative approaches in light of the subject matter and the need for flexibility in a small space and $200 sqft exhibit budget.


The design solutions will be judged by members from the museum's Board of Advisors, including award-winning author Creative Director, Louis Paul Miller (Character SF), and the Preview Museum Design Team.  Other jurist invitations are pending acceptance and will be announced shortly. The design solutions will be judged on the criteria in the Competition Guidance Document (see below).

The winner will be notified 15 days after the submission deadline. The team or individual with the winning entry may be asked to further develop the design and produce additional drawings. Work contained in a submission under this competition may be used by the Museum of Science Fiction to promote the Preview Museum.

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Supplemental information and Guidance Documents

Exhibit Design Competition Document

2013 Prospectus

2014 Prospectus Addendum


Registration deadline: before 5pm EST on Friday, October 31, 2014. You will be assigned a random identification number to be included with your submission.

Submission deadline: before 5pm EST on Sunday, November 30, 2014

Prize: $1,000

Email any questions to:

Download competition information as a PDF

Questions | Responses | Additional Information

Registration Cost: None.

Registration Process:  Send an email to to obtain a registration number anytime before 5pm EST on Friday, October 31, 2014.

Website Images: Images on the website are only conceptual in nature.  Participants are encouraged to depart from those images and follow their own inspirational direction.

Selected Architectural Designs can be viewed here: Click

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