WORLD OF SOIL
2023 Winner, Exhibition Design
Foodscape: World of Soil is the first in a series of exhibitions addressing key topics in the field of sustainable food production.
The design is a world-first: a permanent exhibition of three interconnected domes, disguising the barn’s interior, bringing visitors ‘down’ to an underground scientific laboratory alive with the sights and sounds of the soil food web. The domes’ triangular struts would be kept visible as part of the design language. All surfaces would be either printed; set-dressed; with audiovisual material integrated into the walls as much as possible.
“This is a really interesting take on an exhibition space. The team showed great imagination and ingenuity in developing a truly unique concept for this project approach.”
The geodesic dome arrangement takes visitors into another world, evoking different moods and times of day.
A world-first, the experience involves the visitor in the lifecycle of the thoroughbred by allowing them to purchase, name and train their very own virtual racehorse before having the opportunity to race the thoroughbred at the Curragh in a "4D ride" experience suitable for all ages.
This 60-minute experience can be enjoyed self- guided or as part of a tour. Unique technology provides intuitive, hands-free foreign language narration for our international visitors to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for all.
"...a seamless contemporary structure that brings an intimacy to the entire user journey."
“This is a highly creative solution to what was a fairly straightforward ask. The space, the idea of how to construct are all very unique showing new and innovative ways of thinking.”
To minimise environmental impact, every aspect of the project was 3d modelled in advance, to determine content placement, view lines, look and feel, hands-on functionality, and to projection-map the print work for the wraparound environments. Precision CNC manufacture then followed, minimising waste.
A tunnel into dome 1, built with locally-sourced timber, evokes a mine entrance, with hard hats, shovels and pickaxes. The introductory film within, projected on multiple triangles, sets the scene of where soil comes from, and its importance; and prompts visitors to explore further in dome 2.
Dome 2’s ceiling is setdressed with earth, worms and roots hanging down. Hands-on exhibits let visitors break down rock; see chemical weathering in action; explore soil pH with a giant probe; take a quiz on soil types in their garden; see how water erodes soil in different ways; and use a giant microscope to explore the myriad tiny inhabitants in soil. The print panels and integrated ‘triangular’ AVs (large screens on the domes’ exterior) take you on a journey through soil’s formation, to its uses in agriculture and beyond, and how soil is affected by human activity and climate change.
EXHIBITION DESIGN, SCRIPTING & SUPERVISION
Fiona Houston Additional scripting
Joanne Byrne Graphic Design
Emily Kouri, Stop A While Studio Illustration
ThoughtDifferent Films & Interactives
Tristan Heanue Voiceover
Display Contracts International Exhibit Build & Fitout
Bill, Harry and Joe Fallover Set Dressing
VikingDome Geodesic Dome System
Rob Molenaar, Paul Ryan, Matthew Ryan Dome Construction
Timbercraft Timber Supply & Machining
Dome 3 brings visitors back ‘up’ to a wildlife-filled meadow, surrounded by the sounds of appropriate insects and birds. This dome encourages visitors to pledge to various actions that help the soil, like composting; buying organic; rewilding, and growing their own food. Two large touchtables let visitors see Airfield from the air, pinpointing the farm’s various organic and regenerative agriculture initiatives.
Within the constraints of the barn’s limited space, we incorporated several universal design principles (e.g. Flexibility in Use; Simple and Intuitive Use; Low Physical Effort; Size and Space for Approach and Use) in creating the exhibition. The content was designed to be intellectually accessible; the spaces easy to navigate, and to choose your own path; and the exhibits easy to access, read and use.
Custom illustrations were integrated into the graphic design, with a colour palette featuring Airfield Brand colours; and large x- height fonts (Mallory and Arnhem) for legibility.