T O X E Y / M C M I L L A N   D E S I G N  A S S O C I A T E S  L L C
our process
TMDA begins all projects by listening to our clients’ (and their stakeholders’) needs and desires. Through these initial meetings, we articulate a project’s goal, message, and content/emotional/behavioral objectives. Using these as guideposts, we embark on the exhibit’s design and research. While other firms carry out these essential next steps separately (and often using consultants), TMDA’s principals carry them in person and in tandem, weaving content interpretation into every aspect of the design.

Our research makes active use of regional and national archives, and we also seek out local institutions and private collections as part of our fieldwork. Fieldwork is an essential element of our research for an exhibit. We visit sites with area experts and experience our exhibit content firsthand. We also collect much of our own photography and videography (including carrying out oral histories) during our field trips. Our research goes beyond books, archives, and fieldwork, however. We enthusiastically solicit community input and involvement in our work. This takes the form of formal public meetings as well as informal encounters during our fieldwork. In addition, we involve communities in our content development through the use of area resources (e.g., photographic and bibliographic collections), and we incorporate donations and loans (of props and artifacts) into our exhibits. This approach develops community ownership of projects, which is very important, especially in government-funded contracts.

Just as our design process goes hand-in-hand with our content research and interpretation, it also continues throughout the fabrication/production process. We take to heart the concept of Design/Build: all of our designers are also our builders, and vice versa. This paradigm makes us agile fabricators by providing us greater control over design decisions made throughout the fabrication process. It also gives us greater control over quality of workmanship and allows us to produce exhibits more economically, while also not incurring the overhead costs of contractors—a savings that we pass to our clients.
(817) 366-7487
• 218 Washington, San Antonio TX 78204
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