Eco message for Ico’s Science of Survival

London’s Science Museum is set to unveil a major new exhibition about climate change called The Science of Survival.

Design consultancy Ico is responsible for developing the brand, exhibition graphics and marketing collateral, and for four installations. It was appointed to lead preparations for the show after a three-way pitch in July last year.

Luckybite and Spiral Production were appointed to work on other installations and Enigma is responsible for all 3D design, build and material sourcing. The designers collectively sought to use low-emission materials and minimise energy use.

Ico was briefed to present the science of climate change and ‘adaption’ in an exciting way, mindful of the problem of ‘Green fatigue’. The exhibition follows the theme of a ‘game of life’, taking stylistic cues from computer gaming and using four characters with distinct identities to guide players through the installations. The characters, named Eco, Buz, Tek and Dug, were created by Up The Resolution.

The exhibition is made up of seven colour-coded zones – Briefing, Drinking, Eating, Enjoying, Moving, Building and Future City. Each zone includes interactive games and design activities aimed at the target audience of nine- to 12-yearolds, developed in consultation with scientists and researchers. The interactive challenges include inventing new types of food, vehicles and buildings.

Ico creative director Ben Tomlinson says the consultancy is proud of the way the project came together. ‘The Science of Survival is a wonderful example of how a unified, creative approach across design disciplines, from exhibition graphics and marketing to interactive installations, can result in a cohesive solution,’ he says.

Ico design director Andy Spencer says the greatest challenge was creating an exhibition which could be both portable – it will be going on a five-year tour – and dual language. ‘It was also important to avoid clichés and the preachy tone-of-voice associa ted with Green issues,’ he adds.

The Science of Survival opens to the public on 5 April in London and possibly New York, and will run until 2 November before embarking on a global tour. It follows two other exhibitions, The Science of Spying and The Science of Aliens, part of an ongoing series of shows jointly devised by the Science Museum and Fleming Media.


Ico – developed the brand, exhibition graphics and marketing collateral, and four installations
Luckybite and Spiral Production – worked on the other installations
Enigma – was responsible for all 3D design
Up The Resolution – created the characters used in marketing

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