Tom Hennes founded Thinc Design in 1995 as an extension of a 15 year career as a theatrical designer in New York. Under his guidance, the award-winning exhibition design firm has successfully completed projects for American and international clients, including the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center, the US Pavilion at World Expo Milano 2015, The Freedom Park in South Africa, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Current projects include permanent galleries for the Jordan Museum, the Sustainability Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, and the Seattle Aquarium.
His scholarly writings promote the transformation of exhibitions into powerful places of personal experience and learning. His theoretical investigations into the integration of people’s individual and collective experiences into public spaces have increasingly placed him at the forefront of the field. He has written extensively on museums as zones of exploration, social discourse, negotiation, and memorialization, publishing articles in numerous publications, including Informal Learning Review and Curator: The Museum Journal, for which he also served as Associate Editor, Theory and Practice. He has presented papers and lectured about his work to an array of audiences, including the American Alliance of Museums, the Gravity Free Multidisciplinary Design Conference, the Chicago Humanities Festival, the International Aquarium Congress, the Inclusive Museum Conference, the American Psychological Association, and several ICOM conferences.
Hennes has taught at Rhode Island School of Design and for Pratt Institute’s summer program at Boisbuchet. He has lectured at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the New York theatrical design union, United Scenic Artists Local 829, and holds multiple patents for immersive theatres and 3-D projection techniques.