The Unearthed Ōtākou Exhibition is a captivating display of archaeological finds from the New Dunedin Hospital site. As an Otago Polytechnic design intern, I was tasked with creating an engaging and informative showcase, collaborating with photographer Tom de Silva and New Zealand Heritage Properties for additional content.
Overview: The Unearthed Ōtākou Exhibition was organized in partnership with Te Whatu Ora Southern and New Zealand Heritage Properties. The goal was to curate and present archaeological artefacts from the New Dunedin Hospital site in an engaging and informative way. As a design intern, I was responsible for creating the visual elements of the exhibition and ensuring that the displays aligned with the Te Whatu Ora Branding.
Project Scope: My assignment from Kathryn van Beek was to design the Unearthed Ōtākou Exhibition, which would be displayed in the Staff Cafe at Dunedin Hospital. The objective was to present the artefacts in an engaging and informative manner, providing insights into the history and significance of the site. I was given creative freedom to explore various design options, and I worked closely with archaeologists from Heritage Properties Ltd to gather additional artefacts and information for the displays.
Creative Approach: To create an interesting and visually appealing exhibition, I considered the history of the New Dunedin Hospital site, which was once a seashore before becoming a densely populated residential area. Drawing inspiration from this, I used elements like seashells, bricks, old villa houses, and 1800s fashion in the design. The use of calming colors like blue and green, along with minimalist typography, was intended to evoke a sense of tranquility and provide a pleasant viewing experience.
Exhibition Display: The Unearthed Ōtākou Exhibition was showcased in the Staff Cafe at Dunedin Hospital. The displays featured captivating photographs taken by Tomas de Silva, complemented by informative content provided by the New Zealand Heritage Properties team. The visual presentation was carefully designed to maintain consistency with the Te Whatu Ora Branding.
Design Process: To create a visually appealing exhibition, I utilized design software like Adobe Photoshop to blend photos seamlessly and remove unnecessary backgrounds. Adobe Illustrator was used for additional design elements, ensuring a cohesive and polished look for the displays. The result was an engaging and informative showcase that effectively highlighted the historical significance of the New Dunedin Hospital site.
Virtual Tour: To expand the reach of the Unearthed Ōtākou Exhibition, a virtual tour was created, allowing individuals to explore the showcase from the comfort of their homes. The virtual tour provided an interactive experience, enhancing engagement and accessibility to a wider audience.
In-Person Experience: In addition to the virtual tour, the exhibition was open for in-person exploration at the Staff Cafe in Dunedin Hospital. Hospital staff and visitors were invited to immerse themselves in the fascinating history and cultural heritage of the New Dunedin Hospital site.
Conclusion: The Unearthed Ōtākou Exhibition project was a successful collaboration that brought together design, photography, archaeology, and historical research. Through the thoughtful curation and creative presentation, the exhibition offered a memorable and enlightening experience, showcasing the importance of preserving and understanding our cultural heritage.