When Te Papa embarked on creating the biggest exhibition they had ever delivered, they partnered with us to produce a suite of interactive screens that play a vital storytelling role throughout the exhibition. This spectacular exhibition, which opened in May 2019, is a tribute to Aotearoa’s natural environment and a call to arms to take action in protecting and preserving the natural world.
We were charged to create a suite of ‘digital labels’ that would be used in place of printed graphics that traditionally adorn the walls and display cases of an exhibition. These digital labels – nine in total – create a platform for Te Papa’s content team to tell rich stories in English and Māori, supported through zoomable high-resolution images, videos, and audio clips. This suite would be used to identify over 220 specimens in the exhibition as varied as the 75cm-long North Auckland worm, to the mummified foot of a giant moa.
Typically interactive touchscreens in public spaces can end up feeling clunky and cumbersome. Instead, we set out to create an experience as easy and familiar as browsing social media on your phone – but with much more inspiring content! Scrolling pages, autoplay videos, and animations during key moments of transition make for a fluid experience that is surprisingly easy to get sucked into.
The simplicity of the interface belies a hidden, technical complexity living under the hood. State transitions, CMS-driven templates, efficient build tasks, and massive amounts of processor-hungry media assets, are all things visitors won’t notice and don’t need to know about.