Founded in 1989, Formations Inc. is an award-winning Portland, Oregon-based firm specializing in planning, design, fabrication, and installation of interpretive exhibits and thematic interiors. Our subject areas range from natural and social history to cultural, sports, and corporate experiences.

Among our capable and dedicated staff are interpretive planners and evaluators, exhibit and graphic designers, writers, detailers, audiovisual specialists, estimators, fabricators, and project managers. We are an experienced team of professionals, working in a highly integrated facility in order to provide our clients with excellence at each phase.

Formations applies fresh, creative thinking to each project, without preconceived solutions. We strive to design exhibits with memorable imagery and regional identity, while adhering to budgetary limits and needs for efficiency, accessibility, and functionality.

Throughout the project, we work closely with our clients to produce memorable educational experiences that tell your stories in unique, exciting ways.



  • Conceptualization
  • Comparable Analysis
  • Precedents and Best Practices
  • Analysis of Potential Audience Growth
  • Business Plans and Operating Projections
  • Operations and Facilities Planning
  • Site Plans
  • Masterplanning
  • Consulting


  • Interior and Exterior Exhibition Design
  • Retail Experience and Design
  • Content/Script Development & Coord.
  • Graphic Design
  • Media and Interactive Development
  • Exhibit Infrastructure Requirements

Media production

  • Executive Media Production
  • Concept Development for Films and
  • Interactive Experiences
  • Scriptwriting
  • Storyboarding
  • Art Direction
  • Photography
  • Video Editing
  • Interaction Design
  • Programming


  • Prototyping and Material Sampling
  • Overall Project Management
  • Financial Budgeting
  • Site Coordination


  • Carpentry: custom cabinetry and furniture, exhibit/display fabrication, props, environments/dioramas, fine finishes
  • Electrical: electronics, mechanics, special effects; special effects rigging, animation, motion control
  • Lighting: design and installation of lighting fixtures, track lighting, fiber optic lighting
  • Plastics: sculpting, fiberglass; laminate, acrylic, and foam fabrication
  • Printing and mounting: design, layout, and camera-ready art; large-format printing
  • Mount-making: custom mounts, glass cases, Plexiglas
  • Metal work: engineering and design, welding, machining, fabrication
  • Accessibility: expertise in fabricating physical and interpretive elements that are accessible for people with visual, hearing, mobility, and intellectual impairments
  • Transportation and storage: crating and handling, trucking