Vaughn L. Beals Tour Center

Harley-Davidson Operations, York, Pa

Evidence Design created a transition experience between the street and Harley-Davidson’s extensive factory tour, providing an overall understanding of the operations and history of the factory. The design approach frames the individual activities of Vehicle Operations in terms of the overall process, clearly showing the necessity of every step. The result is a place where an employee can see his contribution represented in a context that reveals its importance to the visitor. The main exhibit space takes advantage of the 130′ long north area of the hall to emphasize the activities of the factory. Visitors follow the factory processes, from Manufacturing to Assembly and Custom Operations.


Four stations chronicle the primary stages in the bikes’ assembly, punctuated with focuses on the related subassemblies. Partial bikes are suspended from above, between glowing light box platforms and canopy. Translucent photo murals of factory scenes are illuminated by natural light from the windows.


Raw sheet metal is cut, pressed, trimmed, punched, drilled, welded, ground, polished, primed, painted, chromed, and inspected. Visitors can witness the entire process in one place. Each step is presented by displaying its unique qualities and refinements of transformation with light box platforms dramatically lighting the parts to reveal the subtleties of material and form. Low unobtrusive graphic panels deliver simplified descriptions of the processes presented while introducing the crafts people and technicians who make it possible.


The CVO exhibit emphasizes the small team of workers who assemble a bike from start to finish. Visitors can walk completely around the partially completed CVO mounted on its factory cart.


May 2002


6,000 sq. ft.


Maltbie Associates