ObjectIDEA plans visitor experiences for cultural attractions by researching content, developing exhibitions, and serving as a visitor advocate. We work directly with museums, parks and interpretive centers, and collaborate with design and architecture agencies on facility programming, interpretive planning, and exhibition design. 

Matt Kirchman, Founder and President, has over 20 years of experience in the fields of experiential education and interpretive design. ObjectIDEA is based in Salem, Massachusetts, and works with clients worldwide.


What we do

  • We guide institutions through the interpretive planning and exhibition development process.
  • We serve as an owner’s representative as institutions engage the services of designers and architects, ensuring that their best interests are at the heart of planning and design decision-making.
  • We  collaborate with architects, planners, exhibition designers and fabricators, bringing interpretive rationale to the design approach and vision to the visitor’s experience. We bridge content and design.


What we stand for

  1. Good design stands on good planning. 
    The name, ObjectIDEA, is built upon the tenet that every good design idea results from a clearly articulated object – a goal and purpose.
  2. Content and design are inseparable. 
    Interpretive environments are sensory-rich spaces in which messages are felt as much as they are learned from graphics or labels. We believe that an overall ambience – a quality of finishes and materials, images, color, lighting, typography, etc. – works to generate interest, understanding, lasting memories, enjoyment, and brand identity.
  3. Learning FROM is more engaging than learning ABOUT. 
    Learning from something – interrogating an object, connecting with a person, exploring a place – is a memorable experience. Learning about something: less so. Our approach is informed by our roots in experiential education, and is aimed at capturing the interpretive potential of artifacts and objects, sites, built environments, and architectural spaces as portals into knowledge, feelings, and actions.
  4. Offer that one-and-only something. 
    Every memorable visitors’ experience offers some kind of extraordinary encounter or opportunity—a one-and-only something. Our work aims to uncover this opportunity through research, celebrate it through interpretation and design, and (if it isn’t found) create it.