The Auckland War Memorial Museum is the holder of an extensive military medal collection of over 3,500 medals dating from the Napoleonic Wars through to the present day. Previously only a fraction of the collection was on public display, with the rest stored in an off limits armoury.
We collaborated with the Museum’s exhibition & curatorial teams to envisage a new type of gallery experience, with the entire medal collection visible en masse, centred around three large scale interconnected digital interactives.
An overarching theme of 'behind every medal is a story' was developed & became the governing principle for the project.
To achieve this, we needed to design a space that enabled remembrance & reflection of the New Zealand military experience through enquiry. The digital experience needed to be one of rich visceral storytelling. The interfaces needed be intuitive, engaging and insightful.
We delivered a total of three interconnected digital interactive experiences, including a 8m video wall supported by a central 65” touchscreen console. A series of discovery kiosks placed around the physical medal collection draws enabled visitors to search for medals by type, relationship, geography or recipient, and locate the physical medal within the draws.
The visual design concepts were tested vigorously with users & assessed in the physical museum environment, and refined based on feedback & the evolving data structures available via the Museum’s collection management system.
To address visual inconsistency & poor quality archival medal image assets, over 100 medals were curated, art directed & photographed beautifully in ultra-high resolution for infusion into a rich 3m high digital video wall display.
The resulting exhibition has been a huge success and there have been multiple examples of visitors discovering familial connections with the medals collection through the interactive tools provided.
Hear about the importance of this project and the absolute need to honour the people behind the medals, directly from the Auckland War Memorial Museum exhibition design and curatorial team.
in awarding a Gold Pin in the Interactive Applications category
“This comprehensive piece of work — spanning large and small screens — forms the centrepiece of an associated exhibition and makes a strong case for sweating every detail in bringing a collection of artefacts to life. More of this type of endeavour in the GLAM sector, please!”
Head of Content and Interpretation, Auckland War Memorial Museum
“The medals interactives developed by NV Interactive enable visitors to inspect and explore our medals collections in unprecedented detail. They are able to examine the physical objects in ways that traditional display doesn’t allow, and in turn unlock the wealth of stories and people behind these taonga. The experience is sleek and intuitive, yet provides a great depth of information.”