Storyline Studio has recently been selected to design the permanent exhibition of the Jefferson County Historical Society, located in the picturesque Victorian seaside town of Port Townsend, Washington. Housed on three floors of the restored 1892 city hall, the exhibition will explore the history of a unique county that was once the booming gateway to the Pacific Northwest. Jefferson County has that rare combination: a rich artifact collection housed in a national historic landmark, with a fascinating story to tell. So we’re looking forward to getting started!
Storyline Studio has wrapped up work this month on the exhibition master plan for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, to be built in Wolf Point, Montana. The plan proposes a multi-phase campus program with both indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits. The project now moves full-speed ahead into fundraising mode … round ‘em up!
Storyline Studio’s conceptual work on the Annenberg Foundation’s companion animal education center in Rancho Palos Verdes has helped the project earn an official vote of confidence from the city council. The design team has spent the better part of a year working closely with the local community to craft an integrated vision plan for the city-owned property. Having received a green light from the city, the formal design work will begin in earnest with the new year. Pictured above is a Storyline conceptual sketch of an outdoor science exhibit, and a site plan from landscape planning consultants Melendrez.
A recent client meeting in Montreal — conducted almost entirely in French — reminded us here at Storyline Studio what it’s like to be non-native speakers (or in this case, simply non-speakers!) As designers, we’re often asked to create bilingual exhibitions to solve this problem. The challenge is to do so without causing “text overload” by doubling the amount text on every graphic panel. At the El Paso Museum of History, we tackled the issue head-on. The “El Paso A-to-Z” gallery contains one artifact or topic for each letter of the alphabet. But the alphabet is a mixture of both English and Spanish words: “C” is for Chinatown (Barrio Chino), but “L” is for Lagarto (Alligator). We even included the uniquely Spanish letters such as “Ll” and “Ch”. In addition to creating an authentic portrait of a truly bilingual city, it’s been a great conversation-starter for visitors of all ages.
Before the advent of 3-D computer rendering, wood model-making was a required skill for most architects and exhibition designers. These days, hand-made models seem to be a rarity, but often it’s still the best way to understand the true mass and scale of a project. For their project in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, The Annenberg Foundation asked Storyline Studio to build a scale model to help demonstrate the relationship of the proposed building and landscaping to the existing site. With a steep coastal location and tricky slopes, it was a challenge, but we pulled it off — it’s now become the centerpiece of community presentations about the project.
Storyline Studio has been working closely with the Annenberg Foundation and the community of Rancho Palos Verdes to conceptualize a proposed new educational facility on the coast of Southern California. Point Vicente already hosts a Coast Guard lighthouse in addition to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, a well-known whale-watching destination that houses educational exhibits about local marine ecology and cultural history. The Annenberg Foundation has proposed expanding the educational facilities on the site by adding a series of outdoor interpretive exhibits, extensive restorative landscaping, an educational “Discovery Trail,” and a new “green” facility dedicated to exploring the relatively new ecological role of domesticated companion animals.
For the past year, Storyline Studio has been part of a team of architects, landscape designers, and economic consultants working with a local community advisory board to envision a project that would fit seamlessly into the existing landscape both culturally and physically. A public briefing on the proposal can be downloaded here. The project is currently under consideration by the city council as part of a major vision plan for the entire Rancho Palos Verdes Peninsula, and we hope to have more news on the future of this unique project in late 2008.
This week Storyline Studio is heading out to northeastern Montana to kick off exhibition master planning for the future Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. The town of Wolf Point is well-known as the home to the “grandaddy” of all Montana rodeos, the Wild Horse Stampede, and was selected by the state legislature as the home of the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Storyline will be collaborating with Helena-based architects Studio 360 to develop a comprehensive master plan for the project.
On the heels of opening The West the Railroads Made, the Washington State Historical Society has selected Storyline Studio to also design their next traveling exhibition. This new project will celebrate the 100th anniversary of womens’ suffrage in Washington with a 3,500-square-foot exhibition that will make its way around the state in 2009 and 2010. Stay tuned for more progress…
“I’m pleased that we can use Storyline Studio for a second major traveling exhibit, because they have done such a fine job on ‘The West the Railroads Made.’ Their design sense brought strong materiality to the traveling exhibit format; their project management kept the process on track and easy to follow; they listened carefully to the client’s curators to get the nuances correct; they were responsive and pleasant to work with.”
- Redmond J. Barnett, Head of Exhibits, Washington State Historical Society
Springboarding from our recent design of the Lighting Solutions Center for Hubbell Lighting Inc., we’re excited to be collaborating with Montreal creative agency Sid Lee on a flagship retail store for a major corporate client in Canada. We have been tasked with developing concepts for an interactive, immersive environment that communicates a brand experience.
Our newly renovated studio space in Seattle is perfect for concept prototypes, model-making, and even photo shoots. Here, Tim balances atop a 10-foot ladder to get shots for creative storyboards for presentation to Sid Lee.
Storyline Studio is proud to announce the opening of our latest exhibition, “The West the Railroads Made,” at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, Washington.
This traveling exhibition, a companion exhibition to the book of the same name (by Carlos Schwantes and James Ronda, published by University of Washington Press), was co-produced by the Washington State Historical Society and the St. Louis Mercantile Library. The exhibits were fabricated by Pacific Studio right here in Seattle.
The exhibition will be on view in Tacoma through January 24, 2009, after which it will travel to St. Louis, Portland, and other venues over the next few years. Here is the description from the museum web site…
“Take a fresh look at what the iron road created in The West the Railroads Made. Learn about how this one form of transportation reshaped the West and helped create a truly continental nation. Beyond iron tracks and coal-fired engines, the story of railroads is a story of transformation. By bringing in immigrants, railroads changed the character of the region’s population. By building depots, bridges and tunnels, it changed the area’s landscape. By promoting agriculture, ranching and mining on a grand scale, it changed the people’s way of life. Railroads brought the modern world to the West and the West to the modern world.
The West the Railroads Made recounts how the idea of a Pacific railroad grew through the 1840s and 1850s, how it came to life in the second half of the 19th century, and how it reconceived itself to survive new challenges by the late 20th century. The exhibit will focus on the battleground between the river cities St. Louis and Portland, and the railroad cities Chicago and Seattle/Tacoma. It will feature more than 80 artifacts, including rare railroad ephemera, photographs, paintings and other three-dimensional pieces.”