Cannes Lions

Australian Centre for the Moving Image

RAZORFISH, New York / AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR THE MOVING IMAGE / 2021

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

In 2018, ACMI had an ambitious goal to transform the institution into a leading global museum. They embarked on a $40 million redevelopment project to reimagine the museum by creating a more open and welcoming environment, enhancing learning spaces and showcasing new innovations in moving image technology. They chose us to help them place visitors at the heart of the experience.

Idea

ACMI’s mission is to enrich visitors’ lives and foster creative industries by illuminating the moving images, screens, and technologies that define our age.

We brought this mission to life by creating unique spaces for visitors to learn about and experience the new innovations in moving image technology. The new ACMI is curated by humans and enabled by technology. The museum extends beyond the physical building, meeting people online with resources and experiences. During a time of endless digital and screen content, ACMI will act as a guide.

Within the exhibits, visitors experience “maker moments” that allow them to animate shadows, craft optical toys, and experiment with creating sound effects in a custom Foley studio. They will encounter over 900 objects, like the Interceptor from Mad Max. Using an eXperience Operating System (XOS) infrastructural framework enabled us to treat the entire museum as an experience canvas.

Strategy

When designing the space, we considered the public, tourism, education, and industry audiences. We’ve created different ways in which these target demographics could uniquely experience the magic of screen culture. Our strategy was to create tailored experiences that kept audiences engaged using our eXperience Operating System (XOS). The XOS technological framework connects ACMI’s databases of objects and media to in-gallery experiences, allowing visitors to collect, take home, and explore over 900 items in our exhibitions. It also powers ACMI's website, seamlessly connecting the guest experience pre-, during and post-visit.

The Media Preservation Lab showcases the formerly behind-the-scenes work done by ACMI Collections and the Gandel Digital Future Labs and helps them deliver ambitious education programs to a greater number of students. And their renowned cinemas and galleries remain pivotal to their identity, and their connection, with established and new communities of watchers, makers, and players.

Execution

In the two years that we worked on this $40 million renewal project, we defined the 7,000 square meter space in collaboration with ACMI and BKK Architects, developed, tested, and implemented prototypes, and designed the experiential exhibits.

We prototyped the Lens, which is a free handheld device inspired by the Viewmaster reels of our childhoods. It’s a unique take-home tool that enables visitors to collect materials, reveal connections, and explore the universe of screen content.

We also designed exhibits like the custom Foley studio and Moving Worlds, which exposes the craft that goes into world building and costume design. In the final moments of the gallery, the Lens animates the Constellation: a massive, sprawling interactive work that reveals curated recommendations based on what visitors liked in the exhibition.

While the tragic disruption of COVID-19 hindered our plans for the museum’s opening, in February 2021 we finally saw our project unveiled.

Outcome

Our renewal project spanned 7,000 square meters and was backed by a $40 million budget to gut and renovate ACMI’s space for the 1.5 million visitors per year. The work has garnered significant media attention in various publications, including Variety, The Guardian, Creative Review, Time Out, The Sydney Morning Herald, and MuseumNext:

• “A portal into other worlds: Melbourne’s ACMI reopens after $40m overhaul” — The Guardian

• “‘A magazine of a museum’: ACMI reopens after two years with an interactive new exhibit” — Time Out

• “Australian Centre for the Moving Image Reopens After Digital Overhaul” — Variety

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