The Churchill Museum: Sound Design

Prior, David ORCID logoORCID: and Crow, Frances (2005) The Churchill Museum: Sound Design. [Exhibition]

Item Type: Exhibition
Event Summary: Churchill Museum war rooms/Imperial War Museum
Creators: Prior, David and Crow, Frances
Abstract / Summary:

‘liminal’ were appointed lead sound designers for The Imperial War Museum’s £6M, Casson Mann-designed Churchill Museum (Frances Crow: project manager and architectural consultant; Prior: principal sound designer).

This project enabled research at the highest level of exhibition sound design, working directly with world-renowned exhibition designer, Roger Mann. The research ‘problem’ was to create an integrated soundscape in a large, acoustically difficult, open plan space in which hundreds of sound sources could co-exist, ensuring both intelligibility for individual sources and overall exhibition cohesion and identity. liminal drew heavily on Prior’s experience of working with spatialised sound in a musical context and collaborated closely with acoustic consultants and software designers, integrating experimental technologies such as ultrasonic loudspeakers.

The exhibition’s curation relies heavily on recorded media. Its centrepiece is a twenty metre interactive table on which visitors can scroll through files and folders associated with dates in Churchill's life. Significant events emerge from the folders, sometimes taking over the entire table, visually and sonically. With Boston software engineers Small Design, we created an interactive environment to spatialise sounds with fluidity and precision, providing a context in which complex movement models could be explored in the hundreds of films and animations for which we provided sound-tracks.

Due to the museum’s scale, sound for the smaller exhibits was designed by other established media companies, all working to liminal’s design specification. As lead designers, Casson Mann have received numerous awards and nominations for the Churchill Museum including D&AD Yellow Pencil, Council of Europe Museum Award, FX Award Best Museum, Visit London bronze award, AV magazine awards, Design Week Awards joint winner etc.

Official URL:
Date: 10 January 2005
Additional Information: A book by Philip Hughes (pub Laurence King) uses the Churchill Museum as a case study, and its sound design as an example of best practice.
Depositing User: David Prior
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2014 11:26
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:03


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