Universal creates deep-sea show for NHM

Universal Design Studio is creating an exhibition about deep-sea life for the Natural History Museum in London.

The Deep is being adapted from a travelling show created as a collaboration between the Natural History Museum Basel in Switzerland and the Senckenberg Research Institute and the Nature Museum, Frankfurt, in Germany. It features a new narrative structure and graphics by Universal Design Studio, and new displays for pieces from the NHM’s own collection, which are augmenting the show.

NHM appointed Universal Design Studio in November last year following a creative pitch against one other consultancy. This is the group’s third project for the museum.

Part of NHM’s brief to Universal Design Studio was to create a new centrepiece for the show, using the skeleton of a sperm whale. The installation, called Whale Fall, will feature multimedia projections.

’The atmosphere of the exhibition is very dark, and has a submerged feel,’ says Universal Design Studio associate director Brian Studak. ’The ceilings at the museum are ornate and, at 10m, are very high, which both complements and creates a great contrast between the modern, crisp, dark elements of the show.’

Studak adds that the look and feel of the exhibition is being subtly ’upgraded to align more with Wildlife Photographer of the Year’, which Universal Design Studio created last year.

The exhibition will be broken down into four zones, taking the visitor ever deeper into the ocean through the use of video, a walk-through model of a submersible, an exhibit of myths and monsters, and an interactive sea map kiosk to explore the UK sea bed.

The Deep runs from 28 May to 5 September.

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