The new Suquamish Museum made the front page of the Seattle Times’ Travel section this past Sunday, with a widely positive review of our exhibition design as well as the architecture by Mithun. Favorite quote pick: “A gleaming example of modern museum concepts.”
Storyline Studio has been selected to conduct a major renovation of Microsoft’s five-year-old Retail Experience Center. This facility is an immersive training and demonstration showroom in Redmond, Washington, where Microsoft’s retail partners from around the world come to learn about upcoming product releases and new retail sales solutions. Always nice to have work in your own backyard!
After a competitive award process, the city of Big Timber has been selected as the future home of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. This is a project that Storyline Studio has been involved with from the early planning stages, and now we are ready to get back in the saddle! The selected site is on Interstate 90, just a stone’s throw from Yellowstone National Park (by “big sky” standards, anyway), and includes extensive acreage along with an existing building. We’re looking forward to visiting Big Timber in late June, for a two-day charette with Helena-based Slate Architecture to begin envisioning the next phase of the project.
Storyline Studio has just begun work on a traveling exhibition about Captain James Cook and his journey to discover the fabled Northwest Passage. A joint project of the Anchorage Museum, the Cook Inlet Historical Society, and the Washington State Historical Society, this exhibition will present a ground-breaking exploration of the important but often overlooked northern leg of Cook’s third voyage in 1778. With global climate change having recently opened up a true Northwest Passage in the Arctic, the story of Cook’s fateful last voyage has become more relevant than ever.
If you’ve ever visited the History gallery at the Royal BC Museum (and if you haven’t, everyone is saying you should), it’s quite likely you got lost inside. Part of the charm and mystique of the original immersive exhibition, mostly built in the early 1970s, was exactly that — getting “lost” in the illusion of re-created environments with all their intriguing nooks.
Of course, that also makes redevelopment planning a little tricky. In order to gain a better understanding of the complicated maze of exhibit infrastructure that currently exists, we took floor plans and digitally extruded them using 3-D modeling and rendering software. After some custom fixes to the resulting “walls,” we managed to create a tool that became very useful in finding out what was realistically possible in the space.
The image shown here is the “before” shot. But you’ll have to wait to see the “after” — we expect to complete preliminary concept designs phase later this year.
We’re happy to report reaching a major milestone in our work at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria: the interpretive plan for the redevelopment of the museum’s third-floor history gallery is now printed and bound.
Tim Willis, Director of Exhibitions and Visitor Experience remarked on the process: “I have never participated in a planning meeting where the team of four curators unanimously gave the planning consultant a vote of confidence, but it happened!”
So far, so good… now on to Phase 2: Preliminary Concept Design.
Sometimes exhibition design takes you to places that you never expected — like collecting seaweed, shells, and other random tidal deposits from Jefferson Head beach in Indianola. That’s exactly what Bill Smith and his pickup truck did during the last week of 2011, along with some Suquamish Museum staff and board members. Together they gathered and preserved more than 50 gallons of material, sitting in the trays and red buckets you see here in the back of Bill’s truck. What’s it for? You’ll get to see … if you come by the museum after it opens in its new location later in 2012.
Right on the heels of starting up work on plans for the new Suquamish Tribal Museum, Storyline Studio was invited to come up to the Suquamish reservation to observe the canoe landing ceremonies that are part of this year’s Northwest Canoe Journey. A short description here couldn’t do it any justice — you can read more about it in this story featured in the New York Times. It was great to be part of such a huge community event and witness the true spirit of the tribes.
We’re quite proud to announce that The Suquamish Tribal Museum has selected Storyline Studio to plan and design the permanent exhibition to be installed at their brand new museum and arts center. The Suquamish Tribe is a very important Coastal Salish people who were led by Chief Seattle, famous for the speech he delivered in 1854 during treaty negotiations with the U.S. Government. The new museum building, designed by Mithun, is currently under construction with plans to open in the second half 2012.
The Royal BC Museum in Victoria has just awarded Storyline Studio the interpretive planning contract for the upcoming renewal of their Human History galleries. We’re looking forward to getting started!
Last night, The Annenberg Space for Photography hosted a star-studded Los Angeles party for the debut of its newest gallery show “Beauty Culture,” which opens to the public on Saturday May 21 for a six-month run. Storyline Studio was asked to design an interactive installation for the exhibition that would allow visitors to explore their own notions of beauty, so we invented a Digital Salon where people can take their own photograph and give themselves a virtual makeover. The software developers at DailyMakeover.com programmed an exclusive iPad app for the show, and exhibit fabricators DisplayWorks built custom salon furniture with true Hollywood glamour. Click here to read today’s New York Times review.
We’re excited to announce that Storyline Studio has been selected by the National Cave and Karst Research Institute to design the permanent exhibition at their new headquarters in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The Institute is a joint non-profit corporation involving the National Park Service, the City of Carlsbad, and the State of New Mexico through the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Their newly-constructed research center is a 17,000 square-foot multi-purpose facility, with most of the ground floor dedicated to public use and education, including a bookstore and classrooms. The exhibit galleries are intended to complement and extend the experience that visitors have at the nearby Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and we’re looking forward to helping make that happen!
Our work for the Jefferson County Museum was recently recognized by the Jefferson County Historical Society at their annual Founder’s Day celebration. In conjunction with Sadis Filmworks, who produced the museum’s orientation theater film, we were commended for our design of the gallery space that introduces visitors to Jefferson County, and serves as a preview for the complete redesign of their permanent exhibition, for which the museum is currently fundraising.
This week NASA announced the much-anticipated selection of permanent homes for the retiring Space Shuttles, and it looks like the Endeavour will head to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Since all of us here at Storyline Studio were on the team that designed the original exhibits for the opening of the California Science Center back in 1998, so we couldn’t be prouder!
That tranquil, snowy, country scene featured on Storyline Studio’s 2010 holiday greeting card may look like a picture-perfect stock photo, but it was actually taken by our own Bill Smith, at his wife’s family ranch on the outskirts of Bickleton, Washington.
The population of Bickleton — a four-hour drive southeast of Seattle, just above the Columbia River gorge — is about 100. There’s no gas station, but it does have the oldest operating bar in the state of Washington: the Bluebird Inn, which opened in 1882.
“The Matsen Ranch,” as it is officially known, has a total of 3500 acres for cattle ranging, wheat farming, and more recently, wind harvesting. Thirteen state-of-the-art wind turbines have been installed on the land in recent years — in the process bringing electricity to the property’s small ranch house for the first time in its long history.
The snowy gate image, and the gorgeous springtime scene posted below, are just a couple of the photos that Bill has taken at the ranch over the years, which he recently compiled into a hardback coffee table book for the whole family to share.
As though the Annenberg Foundation doesn’t have enough projects underway, they’ve launched a new one this year for developing countries like Ethiopia and Tanzania that are in desperate need of clean water. It’s called Pitch:Africa, and it’s a design for an innovative water harvesting system housed inside a “street-size” soccer pitch that can be built in local villages. The Foundation asked Storyline Studio to produce a multi-media slideshow “pitch” to help convince potential project partners to climb on board. Goal!
The staff at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center have been inundated with questions from visitors about the Annenberg Foundation project that is expected to break ground next door in a few months. So Storyline Studio created a graphic panel display to hang in the hallway of PVIC that shares the Foundation’s vision of a new discovery park at Lower Point Vicente. If you’re in the neighborhood, check it out!
Just in time for the summer tourist season, the Jefferson County Museum has completed their build-out of the orientation gallery designed by Storyline Studio. An opening ceremony was held in conjunction with the Historical Society’s annual meeting, with a special screening of “We Came with Dreams,” the film produced by Sadis Filmworks in conjunction with Storyline Studio for installation in the gallery.
The folks at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center are keen on displaying the 27-foot whale skeleton that they have been restoring for months. Storyline Studio designers Stuart Lee (shown here) and Bill Smith took some time out during their latest site visit to hang a whale-spine “template” in the future whale gallery to see how it would fit. With the help of museum volunteer Joe Cocke, they managed to squeeze all the virtual vertabrae between the rafters. Should be quite a sight once it’s replaced with a real set of full-sized whale bones!
Last week the Storyline Studio team dropped in at the future site of the Annenberg Project at Lower Point Vicente to do a little exhibit reconnaissance. Here you can see Stuart and Tim mocking up a “viewport”: a transparent graphic panel that composites historical scenery onto the current landscape. The idea is to help the visitor picture earlier cultures on the land — the trick is fixing a sightline, so that the two perspectives actually come into alignment. Good luck, guys!