Hypsos was assigned as general contractor for the Design & Build of this magnificent museum exhibition: the ‘Forest of Life’ in the University Museum, the former Natural History Museum of Bergen, Norway.
The exhibition presents both in a poetic and scientific way how species appear, develop, and disperse.
Hypsos provided the concept, design and build of this exceptional exhibition providing an immersive experience and public interaction ‘Celebrating Biodiversity’. We established a core-team of experts, Opera /Studio Louter / ShoSho /Rapenburg Technologies and in close collaboration with the University Team realized this amazing museum experience.
The University of Bergen wanted to increase the public understanding of the crucial importance of biodiversity, and hence promote a sustainable use of natural resources preserving this diversity. The intention was to achieve this by providing an inclusive, immersive exhibition experience that displays the magnitude of life and change in a spectacular way. The team created an immersive exhibition wholeheartedly, as it fits our common mission and experience to help visitors understand the world around them through meaningful and emotional experiences.
Due to our approach of ‘crafting future memories’ we produced a strong interpretive concept in the form of a meaningful spatial metaphor and scenography, whereby storyline, objects and media are integrated to ensure a coherent and inclusive visitor experience.
In 1837 Charles Darwin scribbled the great tree of life in his notebook. The tree shows the flow of time and the fact that species extinct and evolve, it shows the order of nature and the genealogic relations between species and maybe most import of all, it symbolizes that everything in nature is connected. The tree as a metaphor for biodiversity.
The concept was meant to entice the visitor to think ‘being in the forest of life’. You can even see it as a call to action: Think! Be aware.
When the visitor enters the space, he sees a dream forest of transparent light emitting trees. When he starts to explore, he discovers that all the trees have organisms as leaves. In this immersive forest of diversity real objects from the collection are presented. Via an interactive layer the visitor meets scientists’ achievements of research and importance of ecosystems and habitats. The experience ends with the co-creative interactive ‘I think, I act’- wall where the visitors add what they (can) do themselves to protect biodiversity and where he can playfully experience how we can only preserve biodiversity if we act together.
The wonderful animation of the 8m large backwall lights up. This ‘movie-backdrop’ both frames the exhibition and highlights the narrative as an exclamation mark of the exhibition. On a nearby console with a touchscreen, visitors can interact with the wall. Visitors get information about what they can do themselves to protect biodiversity, and they are asked what they already do in their daily lives to improve or safeguard biodiversity. This interactive kiosk offers a digital game to visitors. Due to the principles of ‘infotainment’ it has an educational and playful part. In the end people pledge to personally support the conservation of nature by sustainable behavior.
Overall lead and coördination: Hypsos Business Unit Museums
Design: Opera, Amsterdam
Content development: Studio Louter, Amsterdam
Software: ShoSho, Rotterdam
AV & lighting: Rapenburg Technologies, Soesterberg
Exhibition fit-out: Hypsos productions