American Democracy

American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith explores how a nation, committed to the principles of popular sovereignty, debated how to make this idealistic vision work and what living in a democracy really means.

Through the museum’s rich collections, the exhibition examines the material culture of America’s founding political principles, forms of popular political participation, and citizenship in a pluralistic society.

American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith is an exhibition in five major sections, The Great Leap, The Vote, The Machinery of Democracy, The Right to Petition and Citizenship. The floor plan of the exhibition begins with The Great Leap, then allows visitors to move freely and choose their own path.  Each section has its own visual character, expressed in a media AV wall with graphics, colour and the arrangement of the stories they tell.

Each section draws extensively from the museum’s collection, to create a varied, object rich presentation.  Digital media is used throughout to extend and develop the stories but always in balance with the objects on display.


  • Concept design
  • Media selection
  • Content coordination
  • Graphic design and artwork
  • Contract administration


  • Washington D.C., USA

hsd was proud to provide design and project coordination services for this fascinating study of American Democracy.

Kevin Callis, hsd Technical Director