Formerly the site of the University of Canterbury, the Arts Centre of Christchurch is home to the historic ‘Den’, where a young Ernest Rutherford first conducted his ‘electrical researches’ as a masters student in the 1890s.
Our engagement with the site began in 2015 as lead consultants for a Curatorial, Digital and Design Strategy. Our role was to guide the exhibition planning, concept creation and commissioning for a re-imagined Rutherford’s Den.
Our client, the Arts Centre of Christchurch, had an ambitious vision to relaunch the space as an interactive science museum that would shine a light on Rutherford’s genius for practical experimentation and hands-on learning. Our collaborators on the Design Strategy were Sago Design and exhibition designer Corinne Balaam who supported design & documentation for the interior reconfiguration of the space.
Esem Projects were subsequently contracted as Interpretation and Design Leads for the production phase. Over a twelve month period we developed and installed a series of interactive and hands-on exhibits that shed new light on historic scientific discoveries central to the ‘heroic age of physics’ and its legacy today.
Rutherford’s Den relaunched in August 2016. We encourage you to go visit!
Client: The Arts Centre of Christchurch
Roles: Brand Design, Production Management, Curatorial Lead, Interpretation Management, Research and Digital Production.