United States   |  2022

MUSE Design Awards Gold Winner

Second World War Galleries

Entrant Company

Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Category

Interior Design

Client's Name

Imperial War Museums

Sub-Category

Exhibits, Pavilions & Exhibitions

The redevelopment of the Second World War Galleries at London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) represents a major new update and revision of this pivotal period in history. The Galleries broadens the context of the Imperial War Museum’s traditional story by emphasizing the global nature of the conflict and reflecting the enduring impact this pivotal moment of history still has on Britain and its role in the twenty-first century. Visitors encounter the narrative through 6 Galleries. Each Gallery in the sequence is rooted in a thematic question: How did the Second World War begin? How did war spread across Europe? What did war mean for Britain? How did the war turn global? How was the war won and lost? and How did the war change the world? With more than 1500 items and personal stories from over 80 countries, the Galleries bring together untold stories and unheard voices to help visitors understand the most devastating conflict in human history. The combination of these international stories together with well-known artifacts, and using the full range of modern display techniques such as immersive media, architecturally scaled graphics, and audio-scapes, the new Galleries aim to engage a new generation of museum visitors with this complex and formative period of history and help them feel a deep, personal connection with these Galleries. Using color-coded graphic information system and immersive media, the design goal was to strengthen understanding of complex materials without overwhelming visitors. Interactive elements have been included to facilitate intergenerational learning. For example, a large installation resembling a 1940s house invites visitors to experience what it was like to be at home during the action of the Second World War. Several interactive elements have been employed in and around the house, as well as throughout the rest of exhibition. Immersive media makes visitors feel like they are in the midst of the action in London, a city now under attack from the night sky. The Imperial War Museum’s vast archive of imagery and film is utilized throughout the exhibition experience, edited into narrative film installations.

Credits

Exhibition Design
Ralph Appelbaum Associates
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