Erik Thogersen

  • What I do, where I work

  • I’m an exhibit developer / developer group manager at the Exploratorium. I’ve worked on projects such as Going APE, Memory, and the Mind. I was a co-curator for the Orientation and Time galleries at the Exploratorium’s new site.

  • Current position

  • Exhibit Developer group manager at Exploratorium

Earlier positions

  • Exhibit Developer at Exploratorium

  • Electrical Engineer at Edge Innovations

  • Exhibit Prototyper at National Air and Space Museum


  • More about me

  • I got my start in the museum world as an intern at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space museum in 1992. After 3 stints there, and a detour for a Masters in Plasma Physics at UW Madison, I came to the Exploratorium in 1996.

    I worked on a show called Boundaries, that attempted cluster new and rebuilt exhibits around an abstract theme. I learned that visitors are strongly inclined to focus on the most prominent aspects of an exhibit, not underlying concepts. I moved on to work on our Memory exhibition, and had a great time creating Hoop Nightmares, and exhibit where your brain adapts to prism goggles while playing basketball.
    Next, I spent two years renovating many of our classic physics exhibits, an experience that led to the writing of the Going APE grant. The APE project proved highly rewarding, and difficult, as it broke new ground in our core discipline of creating visitor driven phenomena based exhibits.

    After APE I shift gears and worked on our Mind project, creating exhibits that were simply props to stimulate phenomena that occurs in the mind of the user.
    And finally, I have started to manage a group of developers in addition to pursuing my own work.

Recent publications & presentations

  • Mind


    Case Study

    by Erik Thogersen Published September 24 2008

    A new collection of exhibits focusing on the human Mind opened at the Exploratorium in November 2007. The exhibition focuses on three areas of psychology; attention, emotion, and judgment. This case study is not an attempt to describe the whole...

  • Tom Tits Experiment (the whole place)

    Tom Tits Experiment (the whole place)


    by Erik Thogersen Published May 28 2010

    When staff at the Exploratorium list museums that they find inspiring, Tom Tits Experiment, located an hour outside of Stockholm Sweden, is generally near the top of the list. This May I finally had the chance to visit, and arrived with much...

  • New Hamilton Building - Denver Art Museum

    New Hamilton Building - Denver Art Museum


    by Erik Thogersen Published September 03 2007

    While on vacation in Denver Colorado, I spent a morning at the new Hamilton Building of the Denver Art Museum with my wife and two year old daughter. Fully enjoying an art museum with a two year old can be a challenge. While we generally have a great...