Aki Carpenter is an Associate and Design Director at RAA and has opened over ten award-winning museums and cultural institutions worldwide. Aki's current work at RAA includes leading the exhibition design for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, Illinois and The Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. Her most recently opened project included both the creative direction for the exhibition design for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Aki's passion and experience in environmental, exhibition, and identity design encompasses a wide range of project types, from content-rich and artifact-heavy museum environments to identity development for small organizations and large corporations. Mrs. Carpenter has applied these skills to large-scale, permanent museum projects, responsibly and effectively telling stories that communicate with global audiences. Many of her social history projects address topics of social justice, activism, and community engagement. She collaborates with curators, scholars, directors, and C-level executives to tell compelling stories and engage the public through a range of 2D, 3D and interactive techniques. Mrs. Carpenter believes that well designed, smart environments can inspire, support, educate, and connect audiences.

Additional current projects include the International African American Museum, in Charleston, SC; and the visualized concept study for the Wangari Muta Maathai House, a legacy project in Nairobi, Kenya. She is a founding member and Creative Director for Ripple Effect, a water literacy program in New Orleans, and has taught graduate design courses at Pratt Institute and the New School at Parsons. Aki lives in Brooklyn with her husband and spends her free time traveling, cooking and working on her hand lettering.

Awards and Publications

SEGD Global Design Award: Merit Award 2017

Graphis Design Annual: Silver Award 2017

Spaces, Places, & Cities category in Fast Company’s 2017 Innovation by Design Awards

Gold, Best Scenography for a Permanent Collection, 2017 International Design & Communication Awards

GOOD DESIGN Award, Chicago Atheneum, 2017 Good Design Awards

Finalist, Industrial Design Society of America, 2016 IDEA Awards

Graphis Design Annual 2014, Gold, Silver

IDSA IDEA Award Finalist 2014

Communication Arts Design Annual 54, September/October 2013

Event Design, Best Permanent Installation, Gold Winner, Best Graphical Treatment 2013

Silver Winner, 2011 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)

Published in "Designing Diagrams: Making Information Accessible through Design", BIS Publishers, 2011

Applied Arts Design and Advertising Awards 2010

Print Magazine, 2010 Regional Design Annual

Finalist, 2010 Industrial Design Excellence Awards, IDEA

Gold Winner, Best Permanent Installation / 2009 Event Design Awards

Gold Winner, Best Graphical Treatment / 2009 Event Design Awards

Gold Award / Graphis Design Annual 2009

Gold award in the Industrial Designers Society of America IDEA Competition 2008

Society for Environmental Graphic Design Honor Award 2007, Exhibit Design/Museums

Print Magazine, 2007 Regional Design Annual

Digital Out of Home Awards, Most Innovative Content/Advertising Integration

5th Annual Davey Awards, Silver Award

39th Annual Creativity Awards, Silver Award

14th Annual Webby Awards, Official Honoree

One Show Design, Merit Award

American Institute of Architects, National Honor Award to the Liberty Memorial Association

Industrial Designers Society of America, Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award, Museum Exhibits and Set Design

Exhibition & Environmental Clients

Bernice Paul Bishop Museum, Honolulu HI
BHSS: "Through Our Eyes" Youth Activism Exhibition, Harlem NY
BHSS: P.S.186: A Dream Deferred, Harlem NY
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, Seattle WA
Dallas Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas TX
George Washington Carver National Monument, Diamond MO
JAHA Children's Discovery Center, Johnstown PA
Las Vegas Lied Children's Discovery Museum, Las Vegas NV
Liberty Memorial National WWI Museum, Kansas City MO
Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas TX
Museum of the City of New York, NY NY
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC
National Women's History Museum, Washington DC
Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus OH
Nelson Mandela Day Installation, Grand Central Terminal, NY NY
Salem National Maritime Historical Site, Salem MA
Samsung World Headquarters, Seoul Korea
Staten Island Historical Society, Staten Island NY
Songdo City, Seoul Korea
The Intrepid Battleship, New York NY
Timex National Headquarters, Middlebury CT
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Cheyenne OK

Print & Web Clients

5W Public Relations
Apt 14k
Breaking Ground NY
David Carson
Dime Magazine
Fishman & Tobin
Georgia Children's Museum
Ginkgo Press
Idlewild Bookstore
Izod Boys
Jared Margolis
Laughlin Joseph
Mediated Spaces

Mr Black / Table 50 Lounge
Museum Access Consortium
Neverstop Publishing
RealGreen Power
Reed Space
Ripple Effect
Sean John Boys
Staple / Staple Sounds
The Wedding Embassy
US Golf Open
VH1 Music
Wells Fargo