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Miscellaneous > 17.4 Exhibition Design

Offshore Experience

by Kossmanndejong

The Maritime Museum Rotterdam wanted a new exhibition to acquaint the public with one of the most innovative industries in the Netherlands – the offshore sector. The challenge was to tell the story of an industry that is often out of sight and to tell it to a diverse target audience ranging from children to veterans of the maritime industries. Together with the museum Kossmann.dejong conceived a concept that brings visitors to a realistic platform out at sea, and into the shoes of offshore personnel. Through interactive challenges, impressive ship models and more than 90 films and animations, visitors learn everything about energy production at sea, both now and in the future. With the increasing urgency worldwide to transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources, the story of inventive research on sustainable energy generation has also been integrated into the experience.

The exhibition space is divided into four different environments, to help with capacity visitors are guided into the experience in groups of twelve. Thematically the content is structured into main and sub-themes including energy exploration, production, transportation and renewable energy. Beginning their journey in the introduction space, visitors then encounter the interactive Energy Monitor to understand the importance of energy in their daily lives. The QR code on the entrance ticket authorises access to the Safety Room – here the adventure really kicks off with a safety training session. The use of safety helmets and vests and authentic offshore elements such as a watertight door enables a uniquely realistic experience. After landing on the huge steel platform, a 360-degree projection of the sea unfolds, complete with a soundscape of crashing waves and integrated animations that stimulate the senses. Nine interactive games on the platform invite visitors to undergo an assessment to discover their suitability for working in the offshore sector – they can attempt to land a helicopter, operate an underwater robot or maintain a ship’s position with the help of satellites. 

Accompanied by dynamic light effects and splashing sounds, a lift then brings visitors three kilometres deep to the ocean floor. While visitors on the platform above dive into the content and are inspired into action, a mysterious underwater experience is revealed below, with illusions created using one of Europe’s largest Pepper’s ghosts. Finally visitors return ashore for stabilisation in the Decompression Chamber, designed as a shower/ cloakroom. Here visitors are encouraged to think about the future of the offshore industry and vote on the best idea to generate energy more sustainably. With their assessment results in hand and encouraged with good intentions about their own energy use, visitors make the journey home. There, the museum experience continues through the viewing and sharing of the test results and photos on social media. 

  • Creative Directors
  • Art Directors
  • Designers
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers Thijs Wolzak and Marco de Swart
  • Editors
  • Copywriters
  • Concept, design and art direction Kossmann.dejong
  • Idea, content and research Maritime Museum Rotterdam
  • multimedia Kiss the Frog
  • peppersghost Dutch Igloo
  • sound design Danny Weijermans
  • lighting design Marc Heinz
  • audiovisual productions De Aanpak and Shosho
  • engineering and realisation Bruns BV
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