Client: Museum of Science, Boston and Pixar Animation Studios
Project: Pixar International Title Header
Challenge: Designing an Introduction Header that lives up to the quality of the rest of the Pixar Exhibit but is lightweight, can be shipped compact, and can be used in many different configurations.
Role: Exhibit Designer
Due to increasing demand from international venues for the Science Behind Pixar exhibit, the MOS decided to make a second copy that would solely travel outside of the United States.
We were tasked to amend the design of the exhibit as minimally as possible while enabling a multi-lingual graphic and audio solution. We also had to make sure that the exhibit would pack compactly into shipping containers as it made its way from Canada to Japan or Australia. We were given one year to tweak designs and re-fabricate the 10,000+ sq. ft. exhibit.
One of our big design concerns was the original ‘Science Behind Pixar’ Title Header. This piece was originally a monolith of painted plywood with beautiful powdercoated aluminum lettering; an archway into the Intro Theater. The quality, size, and clean design of this piece made it feel like you were walking into a space that was worthy of the Pixar name- like all of the details had been considered. It also ended up being extremely heavy and very site specific to our gallery and therefore unusable at many other venues.
In this International version of the header, I knew that I needed to account for the many different configurations this header could take while also considering its weight, but not losing the grandeur or quality of the original design. My design solution was to have 3 truss-like structures built that could use stretched fabric to create volume. We found a beveled extrusion solution that enables you to insert a silicone-edged fabric into multiple faces at once to create a seamless fabric volume.
We worked with an outside vendor who developed a system with us to create multi-use fabric wraps that attach to custom aluminum trusses. These trusses are lightweight, can freestand together, or can be hung on a wall. They can also be cleated together in a couple different configurations. We had powdercoated metal letters screwed to a piece of plexi and blind-hung onto the central truss so all fasteners are hidden.
The jury is still out on how successful this solution is- but I am excited to see if it is a solution we can implement again in future traveling exhibitions!