Real Studios goes out of this world for British Library show

Real Studios

Real Studios is working on the exhibition design for Out of This World, a show at the British Library in London dedicated to science fiction.

Spiral, Clay and GRDD have also been appointed to create interactives for the exhibition, which will run from 20 May to 25 September.

Real Studios was appointed in July 2010 following a pitch that involved developing a concept for the exhibition.

The consultancy’s plans focused on how to coherently exhibit a range of printed material and artefacts that dated from 500 years ago to the current day.

Real Studios creative director Yvonne Golds says, ’The biggest challenge for us was how you find something that links these very different styles.’

To tackle this challenge, Real Studios has created a notional library of the future, with white painted dummy books and curved white shelves, on which objects and print material can be exhibited.

Golds says, ’It’s a neutral styling into which all of the quite graphic material can fit comfortably.’

To accompany the main exhibition, GRDD has created an interactive that allows visitors to send futuristic postcards and Clay has created a sleeping robot interactive, which wakes up to tell visitors about famous robots.

Spiral has created two interactives for the space. The first allows visitors to design an alien, which will be projected on to the wall of the library. The second features a ’chatbot’, a computer program designed to simulate intelligent conversation, inspired by computer scientist Alan Turing’s famous article Computing Machinery and Intelligence.

Real Studios has also created a number of installation props, such as a UFO that looks as though it has unexpectedly crashed into the library, a 4m-tall alien (pictured) and a rocket.

Sci-fi exhibition

  • The exhibition will comprise six sections – Alien Worlds, Future Worlds, Perfect World, Parallel Worlds, Virtual Worlds and End of the World
  • The earliest exhibit in Out of This World is a piece of writing by Lucian of Samosata, an author who wrote of a voyage to the moon in the second century AD
  • The exhibition aims to broaden visitors’ understanding of science fiction, by including works such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, say organisers

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.