The exhibition design was created by Drinkall Dean, which says it was briefed to create an immersive experience that conveys ‘the extreme conditions that an infantry soldier in Afghanistan works in’.
It adds, ‘We needed to convey the working life of a soldier and then follow the process after an incident resulting in casualties.’
Carter Wong’s graphics are used on navigation, signage and explanatory graphic pieces to create a narrative throughout the show.
The exhibition is spilt into three main sections: The Unseen Enemy, which explains the history and concept of IEDs, The Threat in Afghanistan, which explains why IED use is so common in the country and The Impact of the IED, looking at the effects of explosions.
The Threat in Afghanistan section uses a number of interactive elements, allowing visitors to see how troops on the ground search for and dispose of the devices. Displays include the technology used and personal stories from the teams involved.
Among the set pieces in the exhibition is an immersive ‘Afghan village experience’, which aims to replicate the conditions in the area and give a sense of ‘the threat of danger ever present’.
Other spaces show army objects and mock-ups of disposal teams.
Drinkall Dean says, ‘One of our challenges was to show the first-hand experience of working as an infantry soldier in Afghanistan. In a world of 24/7 news, we felt we are often becoming immune to some of the horrific images we see, and we felt we needed to be bring home some of the realities of being there.’
The consultancy adds, ‘A key aim of the exhibition is to end on a thoughtful note, showing the legacy there, and the ground breaking advances in medicine, surgery and prosthetics pioneered in the military hospitals.’