ASTC is sad to report that Sean Duran, vice president of exhibition and design at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Miami, passed away on April 30 at the age of 49 after a yearlong battle with a heart condition. As his colleagues at Frost Science wrote, he “brought a powerful intellect, a potent creativity, and a fantastic sense of play to the workplace, all of which helped him create exhibits that wowed guests and made learning feel like an adventure you’d gladly take.”
Before joining Frost Science in 1999, Duran led content and design development teams at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia for 10 years, working on exhibitions such as The Dig, Butterflies, and Crazy Critters: The Animated Animals of Chuck Jones.
His projects at Frost Science included Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches; The Dinosaurs of China in collaboration with the Beijing Museum of Natural History; Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure in collaboration a with the New York Hall of Science, Queens; and Heart Smart, a trilingual exhibition and research project in partnership with the University of Miami, which he wrote about in ASTC’s magazine, Dimensions. At the time of his death, he was leading development of a new gallery for Frost Science, Feathers to the Stars, which unites two of his favorite topics, evolution and space.
Duran was also a Noyce Leadership Fellow (2011 cohort). Multilingual communication in exhibitions was a particularly focus of his work.