Matt Kirchman is the Founder and President of ObjectIDEA and serves as the Creative Director of planning and design for all projects. He holds a Master of Science degree in Experiential Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication from Northern Illinois University. For over 20 years, the interpretive design field has afforded him the opportunity to exercise his philosophies and methods in both schools of thinking.
Prior to forming ObjectIDEA, Matt was an exhibition developer and Director of Interpretation at several exhibition planning and design firms in Boston. He brings an in-house perspective to the planning process by calling on his experience as a staff designer for the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and as a naturalist and educator for outdoor schools, parks, and museums across the United States.
Matt was one of two independent consultants invited by the American Association of Museums to assist the organization in identifying the benchmarks for interpretive planning that AAM will use to accredit its member institutions. Samples of Matt’s interpretive design work are published in Noah’s Art: The Graphics of Zoos, Aquaria, Aviaries and Wildlife Parks, and journals for the Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGDdesign) and the American Association of Museums (The Exhibitionist and Museum News). His contribution to the design of the National Museum of Australia is published in the monograph, Tangled Destinies: The National Museum of Australia. He has lectured at conferences for the American Association of Museums, The National Association for Museum Exhibition, New England Museum Association, and Museums Australia. Matt collects museum visits and keeps a database record of each and every one. His current collection numbers over 300 visits from Bangkok to Boston; New Zealand to New York.
Jack Pittenger joined ObjectIDEA in 2013 in a research and content development role shortly before completing his Master’s degree in Public History at Arizona State University, where his thesis research was focused on questions surrounding the interpretation of violence and trauma at Gettysburg National Military Park.
His previous experience included working with the National Park Service, updating of the Visitor Center at the Fort Union National Monument, and an archival internship at the Fairbanks House in Dedham, Massachusetts. He also held a position with the Salt River Project (SRP) in Phoenix, Arizona, where his work centered on the interpretation of Salt River’s extensive canal system, and how the SRP could make issues of water usage, culture, geography, and history relevant to the general public.
Jack’s training and experience in Public History equips him with the ability to interpret matters of historical significance in contemporary ways. His work ensures that our projects reflect sound historical research, interpreted in manners that are accurate and engaging.