British Museum:
'Ancient Lives: New Discoveries' Exhibition

 

British Museum:
'Ancient Lives: New Discoveries' Exhibition

 

AllofUs were invited to work with the British Museum to develop a series of linear and interactive exhibits that would help tell the story of eight mummies as part of their temporary exhibition Ancient Lives: New Discoveries

Using material from CT scanners, the exhibition showed a never-before-seen picture of eight individuals’ lives in the Nile Valley over 4,000 years - from prehistoric Egypt to Christian Sudan. The exhibition was made possible by three-dimensional CT reconstructions of the mummies that were analysed using anthropological and forensic techniques. These were made up from hundreds, sometimes thousands, of CT scans combined to create an impressively detailed reconstruction of the bodies and objects concealed within the wrappings.  

We were asked to develop a series of digital exhibits that sensitively presented the three-dimensional CT reconstructions and the hidden stories they revealed alongside the mummies. The digital interactives that were positioned next to the physical mummies offered a choreographed journey that allowed the visitor to unwrap each layer of the mummy, controlling speed and direction. Via the interactives, visitors were able to control the scans using a simple circular hand gesture. If the visitor dwelled on a specific section of the sequence, they would unveil a deeper layer of interpretation. The carefully balanced combination of digital media and physical objects in the exhibition aimed to enrich the visitor’s journey as the explored the ancient lives of the eight individuals.

Process

In order to achieve this carefully balanced combination of digital media and physical objects, we worked very closely with the exhibition curators in order to get an in-depth understanding of the lives of the eight individuals. This enabled us to develop a detailed schematic of the key elements of each of the individual’s lives and how the CT scans had helped to reveal them.  By doing so we were then able to identify which of the mummies stories would be suited to an interactive approach and which were more suited to a linear narrative. From this, we developed a series of storyboards that allowed us to plot the stories and tailor the content accordingly. 

I was responsible for the concept development, and the direction of the interaction design and content of this project.

Installation View

Installation View

Installation View

Installation View

Installation in Use

Installation in Use

Installation in Use (Detail)

Installation in Use (Detail)

Installation View

Installation View

Installation View

Installation View

Installation View

Installation View

Installation View

Installation View

Installation in Use

Installation in Use