Designing 007: Fifty Years of James Bond Style
Client: Barbican International Enterprises
Location: Barbican Centre, London
Completion: 2012, then touring
Brief: To build an engaging design narrative to celebrate and explain the artefacts and demystify the processes that go into the making of a James Bond film, demonstrating the influence that Bond style has had on popular culture and exploring how the Bond brand has evolved over fifty years.
The structure of the exhibition takes the visitor through the classic narrative arc of all Bond films: a briefing in M’s Office, a visit to Q-Branch, an encounter in the casino followed by missions to foreign territories. To further bring to life the excitement, danger and glamour of Bond’s world, the exhibition is rounded out with a celebration of the villains and enigmas that populate the iconic films.
The exhibition’s design sets out to create a powerfully immersive journey. Each thematic section presents content from across the franchise and each chamber is conceived as a sequence of independent theatrical sets evoking a distinct sense of place. The scale, proportion, materiality and lighting of each space enhances the sense of environmental shift, building drama and tension as the visitor progresses through the exhibition.
In each section we based our display structure entirely on what would best serve the content. With many of the objects and material on show non-precious or incomplete, having been created for brief, on-screen presence only, in some instances an expansive tableaux tells the story most successfully, at others iconic gadgets are shown in individual showcases. We worked with the graphic and media designers to create continuity and cohesion within the overall experience through layering of audio-visual material, applied imagery and specially edited film and soundtrack compositions.
Designing 007 has been conceived as a touring show with ARD retained by the client to oversee adaptation of the design scheme into a number of diverse international spaces offering a variety of conditions.
To date it has held runs at the following venues:
Barbican Centre, London
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto
Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai
Melbourne Museum, Melbourne
Moscow Multimedia Arts Museum, Moscow
Teatro Fernan Gomez, Madrid
Plaza Carso II, Mexico City
Grande Halle De La Villette, Paris,