Millennium Products

Singapore, Brunei, China, S. Korea, Japan and Australia. 1998

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 1998
  • Cost: £200,000
  • Clients: British Council & Design Council

Millennium Products is an international exhibition that focuses on communication through activity. A 16m x 6.3m pavilion – designed to be dismantled, transported and reconfigured – holds a series of cabinets that promote intimate engagement with more than a hundred innovative UK-designed products. Four inflatable-wing-plus-video-screen devices (developed with Nick Crosbie of Inflate and precursors to those at the Work & Learn Zone) line the pavilion’s far end. Inspired by the film ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, and offering adaptations of objects as far ranging as submarine periscopes to inflatable toys, the video booths embrace visitors with their angelic appendages. Other elements, including a 3D viewing area showing specially-commissioned videos of products in motion and an ‘abacus wall’ of bar-coded images that visitors access via hand-held scanners, are tied together by the use of strong graphics. Commissioned jointly by the Design Council and British Council, the exhibition has toured extensively including the UK, Singapore, Brunei, South Korea, India, China, Japan and Australia.

This £0.2m transportable touring exhibition for the Design Council and British Council was created to celebrate the Governments ‘Millennium Products’ initiative and to promote innovative UK-designed products around the world.

The exhibition, designed in collaboration with Studio Myerscough, had to be
capable of being assembled and dismantled for transfer between countries including, Singapore, Brunei, South Korea, India, China, Japan and Australia. 

Millennium Products rejects the common exhibition device of simply displaying products on plinths, preferring instead to enhance and communicate products; qualities through a range of spatial, visual and haptic tactics, all contained within a tight 16.3 x 6m floor zone.

The broad range of products on display had widely differing scales and characteristics leading to the invention of the ‘Spiral of Innovation’, the ‘Abacus’, the inflatable ‘Angel Wings’, the 3-D viewing booth and the ‘Examination Table’.

Apart from the design – by AHMM in collaboration with Studio Myerscough – members of the team were also responsible for the pavilion’s repeated assembly, maintenance and disassembly.

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