Design is the mental process behind the act of bringing something into being. It is usually problem-solving (a desire to improve upon something), or task-driven (a need to come up with something), and it usually involves products – indeed, that may be what separates it from daydreaming – but those products can be objects or actions, spaces or events. The important thing to hold onto is that design is the process, not the product. It is what happens in the mind between problem and potential. (Architects design structures; they don’t build them.) In short, a designer creates a plan for something to be produced. There’s an outcome in mind, and the watchwords for that outcome are integrity, coherence, and harmony (exactly what’s missing in much of interpretation). It is the role of the interpretive designer to work with the staff of our public treasures to conceptualize an overall experiential plan for their visitors within the context of the public mission their site proclaims, and then serve as a coordinator and catalyst for the work of other design professionals as needed. Interpretive designers help sites mold their interpretive facilities around the outcomes they intend rather than the structures they inherit. The operative term here is “experiential plan.” By starting with the experiences rather than the structures – experiences wedded to the place and its purpose – a designer crafts a plan of actions rather than words for the visitors. And these “inter-actions” with the place are designed for specific interpretive outcomes, not added on for their own sake. Without a carefully worked out plan, interpretation veers off course easily or ends up circling its own ambitions endlessly.