Design Brief: Design a pop-up exhibition for the Miller ICA Gallery on any artist currently on display in a local Pittsburgh Museum.
(Course: Environments Studio I: Understanding Form and Context, Fall 2019)
For my exhibition, I chose to highlight the renowned documentary photographer, Margaret Bourke-White. Throughout the design process, I wanted to be sure to give a comprehensive overview of her work, which spanned many countries, many subjects, and many historical turning points. I wanted the visitor of my proposed exhibit to not only leave with an understanding of the influence of Bourke-White's work, but also the artist's fearlessness in her approach to photography.
Determining the Flow
After taking initial measurements and developing a floor plan for Miller ICA Gallery, the first step in designing my Bourke-White exhibition was creating a Parti Diagram to delineate the flow. The exhibit was roughly split up into two components of Bourke-White's work: her subject matter (the who, when and where) and her photographic methods (the how and why).
I then broke down the Parti Diagram utilizing my final visualizations that I developed with SketchUp and Photoshop.
Upon entering, the visitor would be drawn in with an iconic photograph of Margaret Bourke-White standing above the Chrysler Building. The artist's name then leads the visitors to a short introduction and the entrance into the exhibit.
Here, the visitor receives a brief overview on the places and events that Bourke-White photographed. The visitor can then participate in an interactive map (see next image) to explore the range of her work further.
This interactive map allows visitors to (literally) trace Bourke-White's footsteps across the world and discover the significance of her work in different contexts. The visitor would see several marked pinpoints on the map and upon stepping on these pressure points, a slideshow of White's images from that location would project on the wall. With multiple people standing on the map, the system would populate a hierarchy of images to show which locations might have been more or less influential to her work.
This interaction is shown in further detail through a storyboard and a low fidelity Little Bits prototype below.
Before entering the second part of the exhibition, the visitor gets to learn a bit more about her subjects and experience some of her photographs full scale.
Transitioning into the "how" of her photography, the visitor can then experience a different side of Bourke-White's career (that of her aerial and abstract photography) through an interactive camera. When the visitor looks through the camera, they are able to see a 360 degree projection that would simulate some of the environments in which White photographed. Additionally, the curtains would contain a sensor that would trigger the projected image to change when opened and closed, with the intention of creating a unique, individualized experience for every visitor that walks through the space.
Below is a rough storyboard and video prototype of this interaction.
After experiencing White's risk-taking for themselves, the visitors can learn a bit more about the photographic techniques she used in some of her more abstract compositions.
Finally, upon reaching the end of the exhibit, the visitor is met with one last interaction in which they can pick their favorite Bourke-White image and receive the image as a postcard to take home with them.
In addition to the visualizations and video prototypes, I also created a scaled physical model of the exhibition in order to have a more cohesive visual representation of the entire concept.