Cinematic Narratives That Invite Viewers To Challenge Traditional Views Of History, Explore The Boundaries Of Knowledge, And Celebrate The Intrigue Of Legends – At the Academy’s Museum of Motion Pictures, Brian Butterfield and Kalpat share the design ideas behind the Interracial Stories of Cinema galleries.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is a museum like no other. While cultural institutions around the world are exploring the possibility of immersive experiences, the Academy Museum is dedicated to a medium that is immersive in itself: cinema.
Cinematic Narratives That Invite Viewers To Challenge Traditional Views Of History, Explore The Boundaries Of Knowledge, And Celebrate The Intrigue Of Legends
But how do you translate the cinematic experience into a museum context? And how do you illuminate the many moving parts behind the scenes, revealing the art, science, and technology of filmmaking, as well as the history of the Academy as an institution? This was our challenge when designing the stories of the cinema galleries, the central exhibition on three floors of the museum.
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It was a challenge that required the complete toolbox of the WHY Museums Workshop, to act as a translator of the curator’s intentions and as a facilitator connecting a team of experts in the fields from motion graphics to immersive audio technology. Gallery spaces are needed to showcase the Academy ensemble in all its glory – including Dorothy’s shiny ruby slippers and Rocket Man’s glittery jumpsuit – while still having flexibility to evolve with the medium of cinema in real time. More importantly, these locations will set the stage for the many stories and scenes that have shaped the history of cinema, allowing visitors to create their own cinema stories based on personal interests, memories and life experiences.
The process of designing the galleries was both context specific and indicative of the ways in which museums were rapidly changing. In conversation with Brian Butterfield, WHY Museum Workshop Director, and Kulapat Yantrasast, WHY Creative Director, we discuss some key design principles.
Stories from the Cinema Galleries connect museum visitors to the celebration of motion pictures and their complex international history. The approach of a makeup artist preparing an actor for the camera is very different from the approach of an animator shaping clay figures. The same script will be interpreted in many different ways when read by a casting agent, location scout, or cinematographer. Through a process of deep communication and co-creation over several years, Carson worked with the curatorial team—including all 17 branches of the Academy—to translate their vision into an architectural form, a mix of of local and experimental works. cars
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The stories told – whether through screen or objects – do not shy away from controversial issues, often acknowledging the prejudice and discrimination that shaped the history of cinema. “The museum’s positive stance on diversity and representation has been at the forefront of the program and our shared agenda as designers,” says Kalpat. “This transparency is essential if we are to be starting to tell better stories, stories that create a sense of understanding and empathy among the many backgrounds that visit museums.”
“As an institution, if you want to have a voice beyond your walls and expand your reach and relevance in the present, gallery spaces need to reflect that intention,” said Brian “At CARSON, we take that very seriously – how can we use all the techniques available, not just as architects or exhibition designers, but as cultural strategists , technicians, assistants with different expertise.” Perhaps surprisingly, this process requires designers to temporarily forget their role as problem solvers. Instead, we return to what we are outside the scope of the project: museum visitors and art enthusiasts, in the first place.
Cinema is collective, creating shared cultural references and memories. This simple fact explains why Museum Workshop’s approach to inclusive design: the essential recognition that a museum must provide a series of experiences, satisfying the needs of inter- different individuals of different races, abilities, cultures and interests.
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“The galleries are designed to accommodate film fans who want to explore each label, and the visitor who wants to drop in for half an hour, perhaps just for the cinematic feel of the Spielberg Gallery. For my own immersion. Meet a friend for lunch at Fanny’s Brian says it’s about getting, you can take it and combine it in a way that makes sense to you.
Inclusive design is about breaking down barriers, and we wanted to make sure the galleries were accessible to people with different physical abilities. Rather than simply meeting the standards and regulations of a museum, our aim was to develop an experience for those who would otherwise not have access to the full sensory pleasure of cinema. A special emphasis has been placed on comprehensive audio design, not only integrating and directing special screen audio for T-coil hearing aid users, but in many cases designing custom mixes to enhance the sound environment. recreate.
Inclusive design must also be considered at a social and cultural level, recognizing the invisible barriers that make some visitors feel excluded. “People come here to see themselves in these places — to share cultural currency,” Colapat says. “That sense of belonging, being at home, is the starting point for connecting with people from other cultures and situations. For me, part of the magic of cinema is immersing yourself in another world.” Feel comfortable enough to do – live another. people’s stories and experimenting with other minds.”
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We designed the galleries as a moving entertainment, with each exhibition aiming to focus attention and stimulate curiosity. The museum experience is not just delivered to the visitor. This is something they are actively involved in, participating through full sensory participation.
Directed audio plays an important role in improving focus and preventing sonic cacophony as visitors move between exhibits. “The sound produced by the speakers is directed to a specific location in relation to the screen or the object,” Brian explains. a cinematic feeling of being cocooned in a comfortable environment of light and sound, and the costumes often in the form of stage curtains to convey a sense of suspense and anticipation in the theater.
In the immersive sound room dedicated to composer Haldur Gunadottir’s experimental film scores, the relationship between sight and sound is reversed. As visitors sit and listen in near darkness, an alluring red light – reminiscent of the hall in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 – serves as a meditative focal point that encourages complete surrender to the sonic environment. Other subtle visual elements include a consistent graphic design language that is relevant throughout – from the exhibition label to the large-scale environmental graphics and wayfinding. The typeface chosen – Cinetype – is inspired by the historic process of laser filming on captioning machines, and the text and graphics frame is based on the original four-by-three Academy ratio. used by showmen in the early days of filmmaking.
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Whether it’s clear or dramatic, every element of the design deliberately reinforces the cinematic atmosphere – a feeling that is not limited to one static place, but that changes and changes with each new gallery .
A targeted strategy and curation management is balanced by encouraging visitors to map their own route and move at their own pace. “There’s a rhythm,” says Brian. “You will find that the elements of each gallery ebb and flow, just like a good story.” A key consideration was to create a counterpoint between sensory and immersive environments, in relation to more academic and informational gallery spaces. “At the same time, we didn’t want to make too much of a difference. Visitors can get information seamlessly through a screen or sound chamber, read a text on a wall, or listen to an expert explaining their craft. Must be possible.
The process of navigating places should also feel like an uplifting journey, punctuated by moments of respite where visitors can relax and allow new thoughts and images to settle. Strategically placed furniture (such as the red velvet sofa designed by WHY in the round Oscar Gallery) is consistent with the stories of each space, re-positioning the viewer in context the entire building. The Oscar Gallery’s round room and bright Art Deco ceiling reflect its location within the iconic golden cylinder of the sleek Modern May Company building at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.
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The galleries are expected to be in line with Renzo Piano’s design for a large museum. “From the moment they stand in piazza Renzo, to the experience of walking into the lobby under the mezzanine leading to the Geffen Theater, and then entering the gallery on the ground floor , visitors will feel that powerful feeling of expansion and contraction. ” says Brian. “Once you get into the closed environment of the high-end galleries, you still have to feel that you feel so much and move forward on the journey .” Strong sight lines play an important role in creating a sense of forward movement, opening up opportunities for surprising discoveries and predicting narrative. “There is a range of transparency and visual sensibility between the galleries,” says Brian. “For example, when you’re in the feature films and movie artists galleries, there’s a glass window that looks back over the years in the Academy Awards History Gallery” It displays the famous gowns – and infamous – which are worn on the Oscars from all over the world so you know there is a show. On the other side of the wall, it is completely different in nature. No you’re not sure how you’re going. to get there. But you have to keep going, you’re following your curiosity.”
In a traditional cinema environment, the audience sits while images flash on the screen. Here, visitors – partners –
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