Christopher Raia, IDSA | Environmental Designer and Design Director

CHRISTOPHER RAIA, IDSA
ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGNER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR
617.620.3978 • PSST@CHRISTOPHERRAIA.NET

THE TURKEY HILL EXPERIENCE
I developed the complete exhibit design package of this 10,000 square foot visitor center in central Pennsylvania. Working with the Chief Creative Officer at Boston Productions, my crew produced all physical and graphic documents, including camera ready art for about 250 environmental and interpretive panels. Lots of electromechanical interactives. Lunch meetings at Turkey Hill were almost always ice cream—after delicate negotiations I once secured some pizza to accompany my sundae.

THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL EXPERIENCE
Working with Boston Productions and ESI Design to execute their top-level art direction, I led a graphics team in the design of all environmental graphics for this 41500 sq ft visitor center in Kansas City, MO. This job required precise coordination of 2D graphics to complex 3D forms, accurate alignment of imagery to exhibit elements, and enough computing power to warrant an electrical substation in our studio. Photos: ESI Design.

RANCATORE'S ICE CREAM
Small-batch ice cream expert Joe Rancatore retained my firm to develop the brand and graphic direction for Rancatore's Ice Cream, his grouping of four stores in the greater Boston area. We do his retail space design, packaging, apparel, and brand pieces like fleet graphics. You'd think I'd be the size of a house by now.

DOLPHIN CALL: AT&T-SPONSORED EXHIBIT AT THE GEORGIA AQUARIUM
3D renderings of an exhibit design concept developed with Boston Productions for the Georgia Aquarium. In a fully immersive underwater environment with responsive floor and walls, you can adopt a dolphin which links your phone to the exhibit. A CGI bottlenose then follows you around along the wall, joyfully swimming in response to your movements as transmitted by your phone.

HISTORIC DEERFIELD
Working with Boston Productions, I developed the brand identity and signage system for this western Massachusetts living history museum. As a group, the team came up with the tagline of "Opening Doorways to the Past" which I depicted with a period skeleton key / house mashup. It captures the self-guided spirit of the place as you step through so many portals into the 18th century. My crew then developed the signage package for the entire village—both physical design and graphics.

TASTY BAKING COMPANY VISITOR CENTER
I developed the physical design and graphics in conjunction with BPI for this snack powerhouse's factory tour at their LEED-silver certified headquarters in South Philadelphia. The design approach offers a whimsical, interactive personality while covering the company's history as a solid local employer and delivering an important message about sustainability in production. It was a six-month project fueled by caffeine and Krimpets. Photos: Aries Custom Works.

INFOGRAPHICS, MAPS, AND SCHEMATICS
Expressing complex ideas with multivariate data in an intuitive, elegant way is an area of visual design I particularly enjoy. Here are illustrations I've made for the National Museum of the American Indian (prototype of their current wayfinding system), Old Sturbridge Village, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, and Turkey Hill.

ABOUT ME
I am a RISD-educated creative director, and I work with clients of all scales on exhibit design, environmental graphics, branding and product design projects. I'm a strong problem solver which my clients will attest is essential to their success. I've served on the faculty of Wentworth Institute of Technology since 2003 and maintain close relationships with alumni. My housewares designs netted a couple awards and a bunch of patents. I'm a passionate maker, and occasionally take on design-build commissions.

My wife and I work in a studio we built in 2015 about 30 minutes outside Philadelphia. She and our two sons enable my vices: racing bicycles, touring local wineries and breweries via Alfa Romeo, traveling, and combing Craigslist daily for that perfect driver-quality BMW 2002.

Download my CV here.

PARTIAL PROJECT LISTING, EXHIBIT DESIGN
Johnstown Heritage Discovery Center, Johnstown PA
The WaterCourse at Alabama Power Company, Clanton AL
Charles River Museum of Industry, Waltham MA
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington VT
Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, Johnston RI
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge MA
Historic Deerfield, Deerfield MA
Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth MA
Erie Canal Discovery Center, Lockport NY
National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC
Freedom Bound: Syracuse & The Underground Railroad, Onondaga NY
Turkey Hill Visitor Center, Conestoga PA
The College Basketball Experience and Hall of Fame, Kansas City MO

PRODUCTS AND ENVIRONMENTS
Animalhouse kitchen tools
Smart Cookie kitchen tools
The Tornado wine opener (2013 housewares award)
The Greens kitchen tools (2010 housewares award)
Rancatore's Ice Cream

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