Land Design Studio designs Book of the Dead exhibition

Land Design Studio has designed the British Museum’s Book of The Dead exhibition – a detailed exploration of Ancient Egypt’s account of the afterlife, which opens today. 

The consultancy won the appointment through a creative pitch last year in which a proposal was accepted to ‘take the visitor on a journey through the afterlife’, says designer Simon Milthorp.

A  linear ‘maze’ design takes visitors around the museum’s Reading Room, starting with The Day of Burial, where a mummy and a sarcophagus are opened and suspended.

Milthorp says the design helps to convey ‘the state of confusion of the afterlife’ expressed through displays which explain the series of challenges that must be overcome, and spells which need to be learnt to reach enlightenment.

Linear digital displays are used throughout to ‘unlock’ the glass cases, Milthorp explains.

In the judgement section a projection on to two walls shows ‘a person being judged and presenting their heart which is placed on weighing scales.’ This is followed by a projection of demoness ‘the Devourer’ – with the head of a crocodile and the rear of a hippopotamus – which eats the heart.

Visitors are then presented with a moving image of swaying reeds representing the afterlife, sitting above a 37m-long Book Of The Dead papyrus which wraps around the curvature of the Reading Room.

Latest articles