The Rewards of Working on Museum Installations
Museum installations, whether large or small, are some of the most challenging yet rewarding projects for a company like Performance Solutions.
Museums come to us with all kinds of diverse and creative projects. Our roster of clients include the Royal Ontario Museum, the Britannia Mine Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, and Science North in Sudbury, Ontario, to name a few.
A referral, or having worked on previous projects with the architects, is extremely useful in gaining the confidence of the potential customer. We know from experience that businesses prefer to collaborate with companies with which they’ve previously worked and have a proven track record.
When it comes to taking on a museum project, it all starts with the bidding process, which can take longer to be green lit as the decisions often go through a host of people, i.e., board members, government agencies, and corporate entities.
We strive to exceed the customers’ expectations each and every time, and that kind of commitment has become pivotal in our being able to acquire exciting projects and see return customers. We are renowned for our unique and creative fabrication skills in the theming industry, in part because we don’t want to be considered just a vendor but a team that will partner with our client and produce themed environments and interactive spaces that engage audiences each time they visit. We’re a nimble organization with an excellent team of problem solvers who are not shy about trying new things and seeing new ideas come to life.
One of our very first museum projects took place in Monterey, Mexico, in association with AldrichPears, the architects of the project and the producers of the show Vista Collaborative Arts.
In this instance, a group of wealthy steel magnates wanted to pay homage to the history of steel manufacturing in their country. They had secured the financing and found an abandoned foundry that would be the home for this experience. Their next step was to reach out to an architectural firm to envision the project. That firm turned to us to bring their vision to life. They said to us,
“Imagine the interior of a foundry that represents the history of steel. There will be big, heavy equipment with lots of interactive spaces and visuals.”
Our role was to create the simulations that enabled visitors to experience the mayhem, and sometimes the chaos, that takes place within an actual working foundry. We created large steam, smoke, and spark effects. We were also able to simulate the look and feel of molten metals as well as devise animatronic rigs that resembled functioning equipment found on the foundry floor. It was quite the undertaking, and as is typical in this line of business, the project took six months from start to finish. We don’t mind saying the results were well received by the owners and the public alike.
As previously mentioned, working with and for museums is a rewarding experience, not only because the projects are challenging and complex but also because they offer marketing opportunities that can develop future opportunities. These types of installations are typically the first to be recognized in the award process; for example, our work at the Britannia Mine Museum in BC garnered an award from Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) for best presentation on a budget! We don’t work to be the lowest bid, but we guarantee that you will get what we promise, on time and on budget. It’s important to us that our clients are aligned during the entire relationship, from bid acceptance to completed project.
Currently, we have museum projects that are two years away from opening, and yes, it can take that long to launch something that needs to be both realistic and visually stimulating. Whether you are looking to complete a small museum theme exhibit or a large government-sponsored installation, we invite you to meet with us to discuss your thoughts and needs. We are happy to lay out exactly the type of experience you will receive during your time with us. Reach out and schedule your appointment today!
Links & Photos
Museo del acero
Britannia Mine Museum
AldrichPears Associates | Interpretive Planning and Exhibit Design
Vista Collaborative Arts
VISTA Collaborative Arts – Immersive Storytelling (vista-arts.com)