The evolving collection of the National Museum of China contains treasures from Chinese civilization through the ages. The collection includes an ever-expanding range from Yin-shang oracle bone to Lunar soil sample, converges into an ever-continuing story of Chinese civilization.
As an international culture institute, the National Museum of China is the carrier and the embodiment of Chinese history. The Cultural products exhibition hall should not only be a functional space, but also a precursor prior to modern aesthetic possibilities.
In response to the development view of keeping up with the times of the National Museum of China, SODA integrated modern digital art into inherited Chinese aesthetics, and created a cultural and creative exhibition hall with an immersive experience. This design concept breaks down the barriers of traditional museum merchandise space, and makes the Cultural and Creative Exhibition Hall of the National Museum of China to a re-defining contemporary public space with new narrative and new normative.
Cultural space in modern aesthetic perspective
SODA begins with this premise, building an extra-dimensional place where the physical and virtual languages are integrated into an innovative place. SODA makes “The River of Civilization” tangible and turns the space into a narrative space where visitors are invited to immerse themselves.
Physically, Visitors encounter with historic and cultural products along the flowing-shape booths. The shape is a reflection of the rivers in the nature. Virtually, rather than a static place, visitors are immersed in digital flowing river of Chinese characters, which derives from museum collections with rich context. SODA interprets “Chinese civilization” by the contemporary aesthetic vocabulary, initiating a new dialogue on the relationship between history, modern, and people.
In this project, SODA wants to bridge people with space and objects via spatial user experience and interaction in the construction of modern public space. SODA researched and customized the media surface to give people a seamless experience in the interaction between physical surface and virtual interface. Thought the media surface, SODA creates a responsive physical environment that encourages visitors interact with the space. Furthermore, SODA developed a space AR program that adds another layer of virtual space parallel to the physical one, in which visitors can have an extra-dimensional experience beyond their everyday cognition, and have an imaginative experience of hyper reality.
The connecting of virtual reality and physical reality creates new possibilities for the connection between people and the environment. The form of the environment changes according to the participation. Public space has been redefined to a place of co-creation with people, and a dynamic process.
In this kind of practice, only though the participation of people can we create a complete work. Therefore, we prepared digital souvenirs that can be shared for those who come and explore this new cultural and creative exhibition hall. We think that by connecting people with their communities and wider range of people, the “River of Civilization” will flow far, far away.
SODA integrates virtual and physical reality
The Cultural and Creative Exhibition Hall of the National Museum of China is the manifestation of the results of our years’ exploration in integrating new media and technology into space design. SODA embraces modern art and technology in space and hopes to create quality place that people would like to experience in current era, and encourages people get together and celebrate life with their family and friends.
In order to achieve this goal, we have been exploring the pattern and application of media space for years. We hope to explore new dimensions of space design, so that to explore new possibilities in connecting people and people, and people and place.
Project name：Secret Exhibition Hall
Brand：The Cultural and Creative Exhibition Hall of the National Museum of China
Design Studio：SODA Architects
Lead Designer：Jiang.Yuan & Song.Chen
Space & Digital Design Team：He Yue, Li Hanwei, Dong Jiansheng, Wang Jiashuai, Chen Fei, Liu Panpa, Qiang Zhiwen, Zhang Zhen, Sang Maosen.
Project Location：No. 16 East Chang’an Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Main Material：Acrylic, Steel
Digital Instructions：LED, AR、LED
Digital Artist：Li Yazhou、Li Ke
Photo Credits：Chen Xiyu