Howard+Revis Design Services    |   901 2nd Street NE, Washington, DC 20002    |   202-546-0022

 

Controversy

 

 CLIENT Ohio Historical Society

LOCATION Columbus, OH

 

 

This exhibit was designed around a simple premise: what if we don’t tell you what to think? Controversy purposefully staged controversial artifacts in spare settings to explore reactions like curiosity, fear and revulsion, to encourage visitors to generate their own questions and to resolve their impressions without curatorial direction. Physically, the challenge was intriguing: create a setting for five highly-charged objects, including Ku Klux Klan regalia, an electric chair, a circa-1860s condom, a cage used in a state mental institution and a metal thumb mitt used to prevent children from sucking their thumbs. At the end of the show, visitors share their impressions by using wax pencils to write comments on photo transparencies which are projected on the wall using “old school” overhead projectors.

Perhaps more compelling for what it did not say than what went on the wall, this exhibit shows the tremendous power a few words and a thought-provoking artifact can hold. Chosen specifically because of our experience with sensitive subject matter, H+R designed this groundbreaking exhibit in just five days.

OBJECTIVE To use interactives, artifacts and large-scale immersive graphics to evoke the 1940s heyday of the Luray Depot as a bustling center of trade and transport, when steam locomotion was king. A key goal was to use period-evocative graphic motifs and finishes that complemented the historic depot, while achieving a timeless and polished exhibit. Interpretation brings together a floor railroad map with custom art based on Depression-era travel posters, a centerpiece model railroad, digital interactives and historic photos to re-imagine a time when the Depot represented the very heart of this rural Virginia town.OBJECTIVE To use interactives, artifacts and large-scale immersive graphics to evoke the 1940s heyday of the Luray Depot as a bustling center of trade and transport, when steam locomotion was king. A key goal was to use period-evocative graphic motifs and finishes that complemented the historic depot, while achieving a timeless and polished exhibit. Interpretation brings together a floor railroad map with custom art based on Depression-era travel posters, a centerpiece model railroad, digital interactives and historic photos to re-imagine a time when the Depot represented the very heart of this rural Virginia town.