Planning Committee

Chris Arkins
Steensen Varming
Sydney, Australia

Chris is a Director of Steensen Varming, who enjoys the demands that accompany his role in developing and coordinating the delivery of specialist environmental and sustainable design services across their global studios. He has a driving passion for sustainable design and introduces innovative solutions that provide the functionality and technical detail that complement some of the best award winning architecture both in Australia and abroad. He began his career at Steensen Varming initially as a mechanical engineer and developed his skills in sustainable design some 20 years ago. Chris manages the regional operations for both Sydney and Hong Kong studios and leads and coordinates Steensen Varming’s commitment to sustainable design and is a strong advocate to the company’s ethos of delivering designs that are intelligent, valuable and elegant. Chris lectures at the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney and is a mentor and partner of the Sydney Opera House MADE (Multidisciplinary Australian Danish Exchange) program.

Eric Demay
GSM Project
Toronto, Canada

As a Creative Director, Eric remains at the forefront of attraction design in the shaping of new and exciting visitor experiences. Trained as an environmental designer, Eric found his calling in interaction design and all things digital. As his passion for new media has grown, so has his belief in the importance of storytelling in the design field. A natural leader and team player, Eric’s interests and talent have been invaluable in enhancing the engagement component of GSM Project’s exhibitions with creativity and innovation, reshaping the visitor’s experience. He approaches projects with refreshing, well‑researched ideas and harnesses the power of collaboration in the multidisciplinary design practice.

His most recent work includes the creative direction of the Canadian History Hall, Canada’s main permanent history exhibition in its most celebrated museum in the capital city of Ottawa, as well as the Au Sommet Place Ville Marie observation deck at one of the oldest and tallest skyscrapers of the same name in Montreal.

Eric has also been a key player in the content and media design for At the Top, the visitor centre in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper located in Dubai; the interactive and engagement layers for the touring Lucasfilm exhibitions Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, and Star Wars™ Identities; and his interactive design for the Ajax Experience, an interactive exhibition in Amsterdam celebrating one of the world’s most successful football clubs.

Congress Chairperson

David B. Greenbaum, FAIA, LEED AP
Washington, DC

David Greenbaum has set new standards in museum design through the creation of memorable experiences for the visitor. His work has been recognized through award and publication for clarity of vision, innovation in thought and excellence in design. 

In a 35-year career that includes multiple projects of national significance for the Smithsonian Institution, The National Gallery of Art, the Architect of the Capitol and other sites in the US and overseas, Greenbaum has developed an international practice in museum design and comparable visitor attractions, with a particular interest in the development of cultural districts. Greenbaum has won over 75 national and regional awards. His projects have been published in more than 150 articles, underscoring the importance of his work in the architectural and museum communities and the larger public realm.  

Greenbaum has been at the forefront of creating new transformational models for museums and similar educational venues. He has helped institutions develop more stimulating visitor experiences so that they can thrive in the context of the commercial world of leisure and entertainment attractions.

Greenbaum creates a compelling visual expression by developing a seamless link between architecture, the interpretive mission and the client’s purpose. Greenbaum’s philosophy is to amplify the mission of the institution by creating powerful and memorable architecture with a proud civic presence. Close collaboration with the owner, the interpretive designer and the curatorial staff result in a dynamic experience for the visitor on many levels.

Some recent notable projects include: the Museum of the Bible, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, Changbai Mountain National Park Visitor Center in Jilan, China and the Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center in Omaha Beach, France

As a leader of design for the firm, he has reviewed more than 200 significant projects in more than 10 states and four countries to ensure the best effect for the client and the public. He mentors staff, encourages collaboration and leads discussion to establish a vision for an emerging national design firm. Greenbaum is the 2019 Chair of the National AIA Committee on Design, he serves on the planning committees for the Mid-Atlantic association of Museum Building Museums Conference and the International Museums Construction Congress. He also has held multiple teaching positions as design professor and has been a visiting critic at five architecture schools.

Guentae Park
Associate Professor, School of Art and Design, GDUT
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Geuntae Park is an associate professor at School of Art and Design, Guangdong University of Technology in China. Before joining GDUT, he worked as a curator at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea, working on exhibitions and projects related to architecture. He has a first degree in architecture and MA and PhD in museum studies.

James Pappadopoulos
GSM Project
Toronto, Canada

James combines an educational foundation in both sociology and business, a wealth of knowledge and insights from extensive travels, and experience in commercial real estate, consulting, communications, and many industries in between, to help organizations define and achieve their goals. James brings extensive experience using space to communicate, and in his current role guides both the strategy and development practices at GSM Project to ensure that differentiation and viability are built in to experiences.

Prior to his time at GSM Project, he helped companies translate business objectives into differentiated market positioning and communications strategies. He worked on projects with many brands that span disparate industries, including: IMAX, Cirque du Soleil, adidas, RONA, and Ivanhoé Cambridge. A graduate of Wesleyan University and McGill University, from which he holds a BA and MBA respectively, James continues to be an active student of culture and commerce, and brings a rigorous approach to helping create unique experiences that connect to commercial and communal needs.

Matt Solari
BRC Imagination Arts
Los Angeles, California

Matthew is a Creative Director at BRC Imagination Arts, a leading experience design and production agency. He is passionate about creating experiences that not only tell a great story, but also connect profoundly with audiences while entertaining them along the way. It is a delicate alchemy that begins by listening deeply to the desires and objectives of clients, maintaining a laser focus on the audience and end-user, then deftly crafting an experience that meets the needs of both. It’s an art rooted in craft that Matthew possesses in spades.

His keen storytelling sense encompasses a wide diversity of projects and subjects: NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Les Paul Experience, Taronga Zoo, American Civil War Center, Illinois Holocaust Museum, Barnum Museum, Stories of the Bible, and Ozzy Osbourne’s Hellgate.

Matthew is a past board member of the Themed Entertainment Association’s Western Division. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is the recipient of several honors for his work as a writer, director, producer, creative director and experience designer.