Start To Finish

At Bouwdesign (Bouw rhymes with "now" and means "build" in Dutch), an experienced group of designers, detailers and builders provides our clients with unique design services. The team works on carefully selected projects that engage us. No job is too big or too small.

Our roots are in designing and producing museum exhibitions of the highest quality, and we have grown over the years. Bouwdesign now researches, writes, designs, builds and installs two and three dimensional spaces of all types. We also provide design consultation, graphic design, web design, and concept-rendering services.

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We are an exhibition, environmental, and graphic design firm. Our exhibits have examined how airplanes fly, how Martin Frobisher did not find gold, how Rocket Richard scored each of his 544 goals, and how a bodhi tree illuminates the creative process of artists in India. We’ve designed innovative presentations of pre-Inuit carvings, Canadian dolls, Japanese tops and kites, and more than 2,000 historical and contemporary objects, images and documents in the First Peoples Hall at one of the most visited museum in Canada. We created a one-room schoolhouse inside a museum, and built a Newfoundland root cellar (complete with potatoes, carrots and turnips) to explain the science behind food preservation.

Our clients have included the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian Children’s Museum, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the National Capital Commission, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, the City of Ottawa, the City of Kingston, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the Canadian Museum of Nature and, Library and Archives Canada.

Sunniva Geuer and Lucas Ridgeway are the creative leads and project managers at Bouwdesign. We rely on an amazing group of museum professionals to provide us with a wide variety of skills from research and interpretive planning to installation.

// What Our Clients Are Saying:

“Time-permitting, I have made a point to walk through the exhibition every time I have visited the Canadian War Museum. The stories are truly inspiring and some of the displays and artifacts still give me chills.

Honestly, I think it is the best exhibition I have seen at the Canadian War Museum in quite some time. It was a really beautiful exhibition."

Bill Carman
Chef, Édition et produits de la Société
Musée canadien de l’histoire et Musée canadien de la guerre
Manager, Publishing and Corporate Products
Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum

“I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with your company, Bouwdesign, for about seven years now. Each time was not only productive and extremely professional but also fun and very creative. Your designs are simply exquisite and our visitors can never have enough of your immersive experiences and inviting spaces. I have rarely worked with such a dedicated firm and flexible and accommodating creators who are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the delivery of the best product possible. I would work with you any day.”

Sylvaine Champagne
Manager Exhibitions
Canada Museum of Science and Technology

“I have been extremely impressed with Sunniva’s creativity, and with her ability to develop artistic and technological solutions to design problems. As importantly, I have also enjoyed working with her as a colleague, and would highly recommend her talents to anyone planning an exhibition project.”

Robert McGhee, PhD FRSC
Lost Visions, Forgotten Dreams and Inuit and Englishmen

“You did a wonderful job designing this. Thanks for your professionalism and attention to detail; it was a pleasure to work with you.”

Melissa Adams
Project Manager,
National Capital Commission
Various Projects

“Ms. Geuer and I have collaborated on at least 3 exhibitions all involving presenting some fairly challenging physics concepts. One created a simulation of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) and how the facility allowed almost massless particles to solve a 40 year mystery in astrophysics. Another presented more than 65 years of history of Canada’s nuclear programmes in a collaboration between the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Working from museum documents and using their artefacts Ms. Geuer’s skills and understanding of the intended primary audiences both helped focus the themes, choice of artefacts, the methods for presentation and innovative graphic approaches that resulted in highly successful exhibitions.”

Dr. Randall Brooks
Vice-President and Chief Curator (ret’d)
Canada Science and Technology Museum

“It was a pleasure to work with Sunniva and her team. Designing an exhibition on potash, a difficult topic for our target audience was not a simple task. Bouwdesign approached the subject with enthusiasm and the team was very creative in providing solutions. Bouwdesign consistently delivered high quality work.”

Anna Adamek
Canada Museum of Science and Technology
Potash; Feeding the World

“May I thank you personally for your commitment and the excellence of your work. Your involvement as the main designer responsible for the development of nearly 20,000 square feet of space and exhibitions has been crucial to the success of the First People’s Hall.

The quality of your work on this project can be added to that of the various exhibition designs you have done for CMC in the past. The exhibitions From Time Immemorial, Lost Visions, Forgotten Dreams, and Inuit and Englishmen, as well as the Exhibitions India, the Living Arts are fine examples of your design excellence.”

Victor Rabinovich,
Past President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization

“Great, dynamic design with attention to creativity, details and feasibility. Some research and development was done successfully for new products. Great communication of intentions, very good listener and great ability to organize and work with client.”

Daniéle Goulet
Project Manager, Toles School House and India the Living Arts
Canadian Museum of Civilization

“Working with Sunniva and Lucas is always a pleasure they are friendly but professional and are flexible and appreciative of the client’s needs. Sunniva brings years of experience in a range of museum institutions both large and small while Lucas’s creative graphic designs are always pleasing to the eye.”

Gordon Robinson
Pump House Steam Museum

“Their vision, experience, creativity and good humour always ensure a successful working relationship and completed project. I am repeatedly impressed by the high quality of their work and their affordable rates.”

Paul Robertson
City Curator
City of Kingston

Friend Of A Friend

If we can’t do it ourselves, we know someone who can. Working with some of the museum industry's most talented people over the past two and a half decades has been a true pleasure. The best part is that we trust them, and you will too.

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// Meet Our Team:

Sunniva Geuer

Sunniva Geuer is a Canadian exhibit designer with more than 25 years of experience in two and three-dimensional design. She has collaborated with many client groups over the years in the creation of a wide variety of popular museum exhibitions.

Sunniva has worked with curators and interpretive planners in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, history, science and folklore among others to determine the final method of presenting content in a way that best engages the visitor.

In 2010 Sunniva expanded her operation to create Bouwdesign. Bouwdesign is based in Ottawa and now offers not just exhibit design services but also research, writing, interpretive planning, design/build and installation services.

Lucas Ridgeway
Creative Director

Lucas has been with Bouwdesign since the beginning and is a graduate of the Interdisciplinary Design Department at NSCAD University. He studied graphic design, industrial design, and interaction design, all of which informs his work and gives him a unique perspective on both research and execution. In addition to his academic studies he worked on several successful projects as a freelance designer. He joined Bouwdesign in 2010.

Lucas Ridgeway is an emerging talent in the field of 3D exhibition design. He takes an active role in the development of product sketching, typography, product development, illustration, Cad/cam, rendering, interaction design, detailing, and preparation of final drawing packages.

Peter Oulton
Senior Exhibit and Technical Design Director

Peter has had an extraordinary 23 year career as a partner at Oulton and Devine, where he has designed exhibits for museums, interpretive centres, as well as national and international trade shows.

Peter has been working in collaboration with Bouwdesign for several years on projects such as World War Women at the Canadian War Museum, Architectural Niches - Kingston, ON City Hall, the Artillery Park: archaeology exhibit in Kingston, Space Discovery Centre at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, and Food Preservation: The Science You Eat at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum.

Bouwdesign relies on Peter to ensure that our drawing packages are accurate and that all installations run smoothly from the smallest travelling exhibit to the most complex of permanent exhibitions. Peter's expert detailing and museum experience ensures that creative visions are realized and that all of our exhibits exceed client expectations.

Jesse Lee Moorman

Jesse received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Ottawa and has since been working both as a freelance and in-house graphic designer. His formal background in art, paired with diverse design experience allow him to approach each new project in a dynamic and innovative way.

// Associates:

We rely on a broad network of museum specialists for design, content development and fabrication. Some of our regular contributors include the following:

Ryan Lowe
Web & UI Design

Ryan Lowe is an efficient, knowledgeable, and reliable web and interface designer. From search engine optimization problems to complex UI dilemmas, Ryan is always ready to dive in and find the best and most up to date solution.

Nigel Bowers

Nigel is a carpenter, metal worker, artifact mount maker and troubleshooter who can do, fix, and figure out just about anything. With experience in both millwork and welding, Nigel uses a variety of materials such as wood, metal and acrylics to produce exhibit structure and furniture as well as artifact mounts and supports.

Dawn Carlisle

Dawn's experience includes fabrication of custom artifact mounts using conservation approved methods and materials, production of traveling exhibits for intercontinental transportation, design and fabrication of three dimensional mannequins for textiles, as well as matting, framing and installation of two and three dimensional artwork and contemporary art installations.