Client: National Media Museum
Life Online is a new exhibition at the National Media Museum, exploring the social, technological and cultural impact of the internet. It traces its history, from the first experimental messages to the rise of modern social networking, discovering how it has changed lives and tracking latest trends on line. It is powered by ideas, thoughts and opinions of both physical and virtual visitors, creating an invaluable public archive of society's relationship with the internet. A range of interactives explore the story of the internet, whilst a timeline of objects showcases the evolution of internet and computing technology.
Brief: The introduction of an exhibition within a glazed area, where control of daylight is non-existent, with different floor levels, no walls and difficulties in controlling ambient sound, defined major challenges from the outset. The fact that interactive technologies must function throughout the space and the issue of representing the virtual world of the internet within a built environment made this a unique and interesting brief.
Response: The intention from the outset was for visitors to view and interact with the content therefore the space must provide a neutral environment allowing visitors to self-navigate. The design is very much a journey, but it was recognised that visitors have different objectives so the alignment and positioning of walls, interactives and object displays help people through the space. The floor was levelled and an object display trench formed, depicting a time line of computing from the 1970s to the modern day.