Expo 67 - A World Of Dreams
Drawing on the inspired geometry of Habitat 67, the A World Of Dreams exhibit at the Stewart Museum on Île Sainte Hélène incorporated scenography that was in keeping with the vibrant, festive spirit of 1967’s iconic event.
In collaboration with Étienne Paquette, the team of accomplished designers harnessed the nostalgia for the Montreal of the era while integrating modern elements like video mapping and virtual reality with the help of the National Film Board. Behind the exhibit’s aesthetic was the desire to transmit the innovative character of Expo 67 using immersive projections. A space saturated in red, a nod to the cold war tensions of the day, tears a fissure midway through the exhibit’s path with striking effect.
Underlying the concept the team notably drew on Habitat 67’s cubic influences. The challenge became to sobermindedly reference Habitat’s architecture and apply it to the exhibit without creating the effect of overkill. Additionally, we wanted to break up the rectilinearity of the space with the creation of a winding path between blocks. Extensive study and testing at actual cube-scale was undertaken to determine the optimal dimensions for evoking the era’s iconic architecture, while providing functional surfaces for projection.
Une autre partie du mandat qui nous a été remis fut la mise en valeur des nombreux items des collectionneurs. Il s’agissait d’exposer les objets prêtés, en uniformisant la présentation en tenant compte des demandes spécifiques de chacun. La pièce à l’étage inférieur les regroupant tous en différentes stations d’expérimentation clôt bien le parcours des visiteurs dans cette immersion d’il y a 50 ans.
The Stewart Museum offered us the golden opportunity to break with the mould of the traditional historic museum exhibition, adding modern technologies like virtual reality, projection and video mapping. As far as the installation concept was concerned, the Museum gave us carte blanche. Working with that kind of freedom made the entire experience tremendously motivating and enriching.
The exhibit’s success can clearly be traced back to the strong collaboration among creative team members. With Étienne Paquette as art director, Vincent Pasquier in technology integration and Philippe Legris in graphic arts, we were able to fully explore and ultimately take the exhibit’s aesthetic and scenography to the limit, especially with Catherine Laflamme’s deft coordination of all the various actors.
Lastly, the project motivated the design team to outdo itself on the technical level. Due to the Stewart Museum’s particular architecture, a former arsenal built by the British in 1820, it proved difficult to mount the exhibit in the building itself. Some elements had to be disassembled to fit, then reassembled in place. Despite these space constraints, the sum of the collaborators’ talents was clearly evident in the final exhibit product.