Large scale audio-visual installation for the Voyagers Gallery at the National Maritime Museum utilising custom made video mapping software

“Voyagers” was a large-scale audio-visual installation we created for the National Maritime Museum’s Sammy Ofer Wing. This gallery acted as an introduction to the extraordinary depth and range of the Museum’s collections. The space was dominated by a 20-metre wave-like structure that stretched the room’s full length was made up of 26 triangular facets and featured a Pufferfish spherical projector at one end.

Using the triangular shapes as a design template we researched and meta-tagged over 300 images and films from the Museum’s vast archives and translated them into a series of thematic visual journeys that unfolded down the wave structure. As these designs cascaded down the room, the globe projection displayed collections of thematic keywords relating to each asset in the journey onto a digital navigational device inspired by the museum’s collection of armillary spheres.

For this technically complex video mapping project, we collaborated with media artist James George from the New York studio Flightphase to translate our creative concepts into a custom piece of software.

This was built using openFrameworks and the project led to many new groundbreaking developments which were shared with the open source community. The software allowed the design of the installation to be explored in a simulated environment before the gallery was built and then for these designs and animations to be seamlessly video mapped over the complex geometry of the wave structure upon its arrival.

This collaboration also led to many exciting developments during its creative process, including creating a generative sea of typography drawn from transcripted interviews with the public that fed into the animation and movement of the spherical Puffersphere design. The resulting experience is a truly immersive one that takes its audience on an audio visual journey through a multitude of different themes explored by the museum’s collections using information and video design.

‘Voyagers’ was a commission by the National Maritime Museum and created in collaboration with Real Studios and Flightphase.

Creative Direction:Christopher Thomas Allen
Producer:Alice Ceresole
Design & Animation: Tim Cowie & Dave Baum
Editing:Tim Cowie & Helen Omand
Sound Design:Jude Greenaway
Bespoke Software Design:Flightphase
Lead Software Developer:James George
Software Developer:Timothy Gfrerer

Related Projects: