Exhibition design for the Museum of Science and Industry about the miracle material, Graphene
Made of a single layer of carbon atoms, graphene is super lightweight, super conductive and super strong. Since it was first isolated by scientists in 2004, it has captured the attention of scientists, researchers and industry worldwide. This exhibition at the Science Museum, created in collaboration with LucienneRoberts+ and DHA Designs, brought the miracle material to life with an immersive and educational journey.
The exhibition was located inside the Grade II-listed Great Western Warehouse, the Museum of Science and Industry’s historic railway site, and subsequently went on tour. It consisted of four distinctive zones in a large, 825 sq.m exhibition space.
The first zone, Reaching Flatland/Isolating Graphene, featured a history of graphene, mounted on 20 graphite-coloured (black) free-standing plinths.
The second zone, Exploring Flatland/Investigating a New Class of Materials, consisted of a bright white room that was inspired by one of the laboratories where scientists first discovered graphene. The design gave an insight into not only what scientists do, but who they are, which helped visitors relate to the physical objects in a more humane way. To emphasise how graphene is constantly changing, we used three diorama windows to tell stories of how scientists overcame technical, industrial and commercial challenges. Oversized photographs by Panos, a photograph agency specialising in global issues, showed graphene being quarried in Sri Lanka.
The third zone, Beyond Flatland/Future revolution? Allowed visitors to participate in future thinking and included an interactive wall to experiment with graphene as an electric conductor. The space was used for an associated programme of events, so we provided tables for educational use, talks and seminars, and a shelf to display the work the students produced, making it live and ever changing.
The final room, Exploring Flatland, featured a new, commissioned installation by Random International, which zoomed into the very small, extremely flat, nano scale of graphene.