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Space for Life part 2: Insectarium

15 Mar 2017

(Also check out Space for Life part 1: Biodôme.)

The Insectarium was our second stop in Montréal’s natural museum complex [called Espace Pour La Vie (“Space for Life”)]. It’s a fascinating, excellently-designed museum. (And doesn’t its exterior look vaguely like a home for insects, almost like a bee hive?)

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-exterior

The permanent exhibition is called We Are the Insects and it is predominately…green. Graphics are a mix of strikingly clean layouts and comic book-inspired illustrations.

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-we-are

The view down to the bulk of the exhibition:

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-overview

Each of the glowing cubes you see is a display case. Specimens are pinned to a rear-lit graphic, around text and images arranged in a clean, grid-driven design. Each layout looked nicer than the last, so I’m going to share photos of many.

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-case-graphics1

Some layouts revealed a sense of humor, like this one with its ants on march.

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-case-graphics-fun

Accent color and a stylized illustration indicated the habitat of the grouping of insect specimens on display.

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-case-graphics2

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-terrarium

Throughout the exhibition there were terrariums, and beneath some display cubes there were dioramas (faux terrariums, if you will).

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-faux-terrarium

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-butterflies

There were also wall displays, and plenty of interesting charts and diagrams, done as both straight-graphics and as a mix of graphics and specimens, like the family tree below.

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-timeline-charts

There were sections about insect lifestyles, diets, reproduction, and what people can do to protect endangered insects. The sheer number of these displays could have made for a repetitive slog , but it did not feel that way at all—specimens were fascinating, text was succinct, and the layouts were visually varied while staying true to the design system.

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-reproduction-pros

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Outside were additional exhibitions and a temporary interactive art installation, and then it was off to explore the Botanical Garden.

theexhibitdesigner_insectarium-outside-exhibits

One Comment leave one →
  1. 05 Apr 2017 5:02 am

    The comic style really works with this. Really engaging and beautiful work

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