EXPERIENTIAL DESIGN - WAYFINDING AND ART EXHIBITION
ACTIVITY DESIGN FOR THE STATE LIBRARY OF QUEENSLAND
Marking 100 years since the First World War, the State Library was tasked with putting on an important exhibition that told the personal stories of Queenslanders' involvement in the First World War. POMO was asked to assist in the design of this important event.
WHAT DID THE PROJECT ENTAIL?
'Distant Lines Queensland voices of the First World War' was the title of the exhibition created by the State Library to connect and engage people with the stories of courage, resilience and sacrifice during the First World War.
POMO was asked to help those visiting this art exhibition to do two things: firstly to navigate their way through the public space of the State Library and find the exhibition on level one.
In addition, POMO was also tasked with engaging exhibition visitors who came to see the public program of the Distanct Lines exhibition. Specifically this involved the creation of an interactive family activity. This activity was to play a central role in the visitor's experience of the program and provide them with a way to not only learn about the subject but to actively participate in it.
THE WAYFINDING SIGNAGE DESIGN
The State Library of Queensland has general public access from the ground level, in order for visitors to navigate their way into the exhibition space, they needed to be guided to level one. POMO developed wayfinding directional signs that were themed around the exhibition, using life-sized actual images of the people involved in WW1.
Part of the challenge was to ensure they were stable and safe, incorporating the use of sandbags not only made them stable but also added a further reference to WW1 and enhanced the visitor experience.
The black panels at the foot of the sign provided a means to convey directional information while leaving the image area clear for maximum visual impact and to retain the authenticity of the images. The use of these characters also provided visitors with an insight into what the upstairs exhibition might entail.
THE FAMILY ACTIVITY — EXHIBITION DESIGN
The exhibition team wanted to immerse the visitors into the stories of the exhibition via an engaging and interactive 'postcard writing' workshop. There were more postcards sent during World War 1 than in any other conflict. The theme of the postcard was central to the exhibition and it helped tell the personal stories of Queenslanders' involvement in the conflict.
The aim of the activity was for families to engage in the exhibition in a practical way by writing a 'postcard from the war' as if they were a real character in the war. POMO's challenge was how to present this interactive activity to the attendees, how to make it simple enough to work and how to make it work physically within the confines of the existing space.
A strategy was developed that revolved around visitors potentially entering the activity area from two entry points. Instructions had to be clear at each entry point. The activity needed to work during peak visitor periods where many people might be within the space. Placement of instructions, graphics and lettering had to be carefully mapped and measured to ensure readability from different heights, perspectives and in the event that visibility was obscured by other visitors.
The interactive activity was made up of a number of 'characters' from the war. Instructions at both ends of the space told the visitors what they had to do, the addition of cartoon characters helped explain each step.
Visitors were asked to choose a wartime character that appealed to them, illustrations of soldiers, officers, nurses and others were placed along the walls. Visitors could choose a character then pretend they were that wartime character, taking a postcard from the racks and sit and write to someone at home as if they actually were overseas in the conflict zone.
Higher than expected visitor numbers.
People loved the activity, often returning more than once to participate.
Creative and appropriate signage directing people to the exhibition.
If you'd like to gain access to POMO's unique methodology for any project, don't hesitate to contact us today on 07 5441 6605.