Asteroid City Exhibition

Client: The Store X LTD

Location: 180 The Strand, London

Date of Completion: June 2023


Described by Design Boom as translating ‘the movie’s visual language into a tangible artistic experience”, the Asteroid City Exhibition was designed to invite visitors inside the vibrant, beautifully conceived and detailed world of Wes Anderson’s 11th film, a half sci-fi half western story, set in a fictional rural town in America’s southwest in 1955.

Showcasing a large number of original sets, props, miniatures, costumes and artworks, the exhibition was structured in a series of independent installations, each one tied to a specific scene from the film. These were conceived to be engaged with in linear or non-linear order, leaving the visitor to wander and explore.

Relevant audio tracks from the movie were played throughout the galleries to create further sensorial depth and help seamlessly transport the visitor, tying the loosely arranged spaces together. Low lighting, in contrast to brightness of the film, evokes the drama and anticipation of the movie theatre, drawing focus to the items and images on display, as to a bright screen in the dark.

The display methodology draws on and emphasises key themes from Anderson’s iconic approach to cinematography – rigorously stylized object curation, vibrant pastel colours and a painterly sense of composition and eye for detail – through a series of ‘tableau vivant’ like set displays that both highlight and heighten ‘the films layered contrivances’ (Yatzer).

In the second gallery, the lighting is brighter and focus is drawn to the hand crafted detail of small props and inventions that give the film its tactility and richness. Here the palette is set by two hero colours, sand for the base plinth and sky blue for the walls, mimicking the movie’s colour scheme. The lack of cases or barriers between the viewer and the objects bring the pieces closer, inviting inspection.

Visitors then exit through the gift shop, which has been designed to evoke memories of the alien fun fare in the movie, and, for the final surprise, are given the opportunity to step into the films iconic 1950’s dinner and enjoy a milk shake, hot dog or filter coffee at the original bar, enjoying views out into the desert.

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Asteroid City — Fondazione Prada

Asteroid City — Fondazione Prada