United States

2020

International Spy Museum

Entrant Company

Gallagher & Associates

Category

Experiential & Immersive

Client's Name

International Spy Museum

Sub-Category

Exhibition Experiences (NEW)

How do you design a world that's hidden from sight—where nothing is what it seems. We turned real-life events inside-out to reveal the process and the fantastic intelligence stories that have shaped the world we live in today. You think you know, but upon closer examination, something unexpected and surprising is revealed. In the end, you’ll find: all is not what it seems. The International Spy Museum (SPY) opened on May 12, 2019, in Washington, DC. The completely re-imagined Museum opened in a new purpose-built 140,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building—more than doubling its original size. After 16 years and engaging over 9 million visitors, SPY was recognized for pioneering a new breed of self-sustaining, experience-first museums. Building on that same innovative spirit, the new museum pushes the boundaries of innovative storytelling and immersive design. Picking up the story where the original SPY left off, we designed an immersive theatrical experience for the new Museum using rich textural elements and a powerful graphic language to pull the visitor into the hidden world of espionage. Our vision for the new SPY invites the audience into a world of intrigue—a personal exploration that immerses visitors into the experience of living their cover. Through objects, immersion, light, and media, the visitor becomes the subject, and the exhibits become the stage. This curated journey, powered by RFID technology, invites the audience to see if they have what it takes to be a spy. Layered installations highlight key human intelligence figures along with their intriguing spy gadgets, creating a world of spy stories to illuminate a different perspective on history. Complex concepts of how CIA analysts work are brought to life through interactive role-playing, guided by real-life experts. Stories are told through the lens of the people who lived them, sometimes through their own interviews, and other times through their written word. By matching objects from the Museum's 5,000-piece artifact collection with interpretive graphics, voice recordings, and media, we bring resonance to the collection that could not be achieved otherwise.

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