The Silk Road
The Silk Road
The Silk Road
The Silk Road
The Silk Road
The Silk Road
The Silk Road

The Silk Road

American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, 2009

Description

This traveling exhibit brings to life one of the greatest trading routes in human history, the Silk Road. It focuses on four stops along the route, showcasing goods, cultures and technologies: Xi’an, China’s Tang Dynasty capital; Turfan, a desert oasis and trading outpost; Samarkand, home of prosperous merchants; and Baghdad, the intellectual center of the era. The exhibit features artifacts and re-creations of period environments, from a silk-weaving loom to a full-scale marketplace and a ship.

The exhibit design takes its cue from the subject matter: raw silk walls set the stage for each of the cities. The graphics complement the exhibit and 10-foot satin banners bring scale and a sense of drama to a low exhibit space. The entrance to each city is marked by a procession of monumental banners, telegraphing a sense of place. A motif was developed for each city, inspired by fabric patterns, artifacts and architecture. They give texture and depth at a large scale to the banners; at a smaller scale they generate patterns and ornamental borders on label decks. Both banners and label decks use an asymmetrical framing device, which references Asian scrolls. Throughout the show, the graphics frame and celebrate the objects and environments without upstaging them.

Juror Notes

Very dramatic and cohesive presentation.

The jury was impressed by the amount of content. Clever silk draping was used as a backdrop to the interpretive panels, making it easy for the installation to travel.

Collections: AIGA 365: 31 (2010)
Discipline: Information design
Format: Exhibit
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