The new National Museum of Norway opened its doors in June 2022. On this occasion, we worked on the concept and development of one of the rooms in the permanent collection, together with the curatorial team of the museum, our colleagues at Metric, Øyedrops and AlsoKnownAs. The result is a comprehensive and interactive exhibition in which visitors can experience a chronological and thematic journey of Norwegian digital design.
Norway has never exhibited the history of digital design. The task we faced with was how to best tell a story within the display time and structural boundaries of the museum: 10 touchscreens facing one another. But how could we address a story that includes so many elements, technologies and protagonists? We landed on 5 main themes and worked on dividing those themes into different sections, as well as adding interactive functions for each of those sections.
"We wanted to create a room where visitors could learn something, while at the same time rediscover familiar things in a new way. This shows how important design is for our cultural history."
- Extern curator Martin Egge Lundell
It was important for the National Museum that this exhibition would be inclusive and available for everyone, from kids to older generations. The story of Norwegian design was therefore divided into the following 5 sections, familiar to many: "vignette", "game", "music video", "weather channel" and "internet". We programmed each of the sections to play for approximately 4 minutes.
Each of the sections exhibit their digital progress over time, in a chronological manner. For instance, the audience can dive into the evolution of the weather channel, from human presentations using stickers in the 1980s to the more technically sharp apps we have nowadays.
Through several rounds of prototyping, we were able to verify the design and our own hypotheses about the visitor's behaviour. Early prototyping also helped clarify any uncertainties, as well as sharpen the content for the various topics.
We uncovered many questions, both in terms of content and the way the room should be experienced by the audience, such as the importance of interactive elements. We also developed and built a motion sensor, which was installed at the entrance of the room in order for the video to start as soon as visitors enter.
3x PIR Sensors (Panasonic EKMC1603111)
1x Microcontroller (Arduino NANO)