Prove It!

Client: The Science Museum

Location: Science Museum, London

Date of completion: October 2009


Brief: To design an exhibition presenting and exploring the scientific evidence behind climate change, its weight as fact rather than supposition, in support of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which was attended by 192 countries across the world.

As well as presenting data and information, the exhibition was conceived to inspire action and optimism for a greener future, and it was essential that its design catalyse a spirit of activism and engagement.

To create a dynamic landscape that would stimulate visitors, inviting them to interrogate and investigate, we designed a series of large cone-shaped tensile structures to inhabit the gallery space. These we constructed from lengths of neon orange cord attached to white powder-coated steel rings. The strings were pulled taut against the Science Museum’s existing physical structure, tapping into its excess energy.

The structures acted as temporary monuments, made from an absolute minimum of physical materials to stand out as beacons signalling environmental consciousness to the world.

The face of several of these string cones was covered in recyclable PVC, forming projection screens for animated films containing facts about climate change. Chairs sprout mushroom-like from the floor, orbiting around the cone installations alongside tables structured from the same string aesthetic. Embedded screens within the tables hold engaging interactive animations developed by Spiral Interactive. The screens allow visitors to navigate the politics of the Copenhagen summit or write to UK politicians with their questions.

Perhaps the most revolutionary part of Prove It! took place after the show closed. The exhibition was designed to have an afterlife in the Science Museum, components from the installations destined to find a second life in other exhibitions and galleries. As well as being 100% recyclable, the lightweight nature of the majority of the show’s materials allowed them to be moved around the site and re-purposed in different locations.