Craft is part of our culture and central to our way of
working, so is experimentation. Working to develop a
new brand, our graphics team experimented with ink
and paper to make connections between landscape,
writing and poetry.
Light is a key component for creating drama in our
work. It creates feelings and moods, and accentuates
objects and details. Getting light right is essential.
Each project needs its own identity. We created a
bespoke typeface for our exhibition Hooked, the first
exhibition at London’s new Science Gallery. The ‘O’
on the front façade became a popular selfie moment.
The objects tell a story – we are making places that
let the objects breathe and you can see their detail
and character. Here is a key statue from our Sir
Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia at
the British Museum.
Our work often explores different perspectives and
new ways of perceiving something. In Life in the
Dark at the Natural History Museum, the letters of
the titles were created through light and shadows.
Dialogue plays a key role in how we work. Ideas are
not developed in a vacuum, but grow from two-way
conversations, listening and workshops.
Sampling is an important part of our work. We test
materials and textures to make sure they are right.
For Hooked at the Science Gallery, we created
large curtain graphics. We trialled printing on many
different textures to make sure the text was clear and
easy to read.
Our studio is full of amazingly creative and talented
people that shape all our projects. Our studio is also
home to plenty of examples from previous design
processes. They inspire new projects and future
Our buildings and exhibitions let surfaces of
materials and light come together to shape the
environment. We enjoy how an exterior landscape
can become part of a room. This is Dove Cottage
in the Lake District, one of William Wordsworth’s
homes, where we are working to transform the
Sometimes, a moving surface tells a story in a more
evocative way. In Life in the Dark at the Natural
History Museum, a fox followed visitors as they
began their journey through the dark.
Exploring with all your senses is a powerful
experience. We consider the senses when we design
and think carefully about what people can hear,
touch, smell, listen, see and do.
We consider graphics and 3D design at the same
time, so they are seamlessly integrated. For The
Great Exhibition of the North, we made large-scale
bold graphic surfaces. They told different stories and
formed the walls and carved the spaces within the
Great North Museum, Hancock.
They may all look blue, but only through rigorous
testing can we get the nuance of a colour absolutely
By visualising our ideas, we can test different
materials to see how textures work in a particular
context. Here, the façade is dependent on the choice
of brick but is also shaped by the relationship to the
rhythm of spaces and shadows. A visualisation helps
us determine the relationship.
We enjoy playing with structures. They can be
part of the narrative at the same time as they hold
the narrative. They can include light, content and
showcases for object displays. In Electricity, we
created structures inspired by pylons.
Workshops form the basis for our early work on a
project. We explore a topic broadly until we find a
clear path for the concept design. That journey is
captured through storyboards and timelines that
express what people will see, do, think and feel.
We enjoy creating immersive moments. They
help us set a tone, a mood and a pace, and create
environments that spark wonder. For Utopia, we
created an infinite landscape with mirrors and
printed metal fabric. A visual idea that was also
repeated in the design and branding.
Our exhibitions are often a multidisciplinary
collaboration – between film, sound, objects, lighting,
graphic design, architecture and exhibition design.
In this moment in You Say You Want A Revolution?
for the V&A, we needed to compose all the elements
together, like a theatre director, so they felt as if they
were one design voice.
In all our work, we use materials to tell a story. Every
detail counts. Here, a lightbulb sits on a clear Corian
surrounded by recycled plastic that forms a textured
pattern. It feels like a buzzing current is running
When the spirit of a place is at the heart of a story,
our work brings out the essence of that place. Either
in the place itself, enhancing the narrative that is
already there, or by bringing it to life elsewhere.
We work with materials, form and light to encourage
certain movement in and through the spaces we
design. Vertical timber slats give the impression of
vertical light that lead people up and down the stairs.
We often work with thresholds. They represent the
beginning of something or the transition from one
thing to another. They help us mark transitions in
a spatial narrative drama, a point where the story
We work with theatrical techniques to put people at
the heart of our story-telling. We set up scenarios
that allows people to meet people. A voice can
be listened to and a projection of a person gives
movement and a sense of a room being used.
Creating surfaces that move between graphics and
film can give movement to performance. A house ¬–
part printed, part projected ¬– became the backdrop
to an opera. Throughout the performance, it slowly
We enjoy exploring new technology. Both as a way
develop our design work and as a way to find new
methods for connecting people with content. In
Ancient Lives at the British Museum, we used CT
scanned data and interactive technology to allow
people to discover ancient mummies.
Our work often takes inspiration from the wider
landscape our designs and architecture exist within.
The texture, form, colours, light and movement of the
landscape make a mark on our thinking.
We create spaces with people in mind. Our
music venue spaces come alive when they are
full of people, music and lights. We create the
infrastructure to allow the experiences to happen.
Scale can help us tell a story. In the Tove Jansson
exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, we used
her beautiful drawings large scale on walls. It allowed
people to see the intricate details of her work.
This cupboard system is a way of keeping away
storage, whilst enabling some favourite objects on
Storytelling is central to our work. The Way to the
Sea was a devised theatre project. We created a
narrative that ran through a village in Suffolk. A
series of installations were used to unfold the story
and the performance.
We design through creating samples and prototypes.
On this project, we tested many black stains and
surface treatments on timber to get the quality of
finish just right.
A graphic animation helps us give detail and context.
In our exhibition Hut 11a at Bletchley Park, we use
animation to tell the story of the build-up to building
the Bombe Machine. The style and colours of the
animation are carefully matched to the objects on
Our architecture can translate the context a museum
sits within and bring it inside the museum. At the
National Waterways Museum, we designed a new
entrance that brings the light into the heart of the
building and creates a clear connection to the water.
We created a series of films for a theatre production
in Mexico. They acted as dramatic storytelling
devices – sometimes like a thought bubble,
sometimes an emotional counterpoint to the actors
on the stage.
Our viewing tower at Sutton Hoo allows helps to tell
the story of a wider landscape. By giving visitors a
new raised viewing point, we help visitors to make
their own connections between the landscape and
the history within it.
A physical model is sometimes be the clearest way to
communicate our ideas. They allow us to move things
around and helps us test options.
We enjoy carefully collating material so that they
resonate together. This is a combination of floor, wall
and graphic routed images.
We find interesting details in museum objects and
stories, and incorporate them into our designs.
Here, the dials and mechanisms of the Bombe
Machine, becomes a detail in our exhibition design at
Interactivity adds another dimension to storytelling.
By touching, doing and testing, people can explore a
story in a hands-on way.
Our exhibitions often form the background for
exciting spaces to play. In From Street to Trench we
designed a Manchester street that contained objects
and stories. It was also a place to play children’s
games from the past.
By layering surfaces, we create depth of textures and
colours. Collections and information create strata of
content to discover and explore.
Our architecture often makes connections between
the space inside and the landscape outside.
Boundaries blur and the external flows in to the
internal. Views open up, lights flood in and the
seasons become part of the room.
We consider graphics and 3D design at the same
time, so they are seamlessly integrated. For
Revolution at the V&A we created textures as scene
We think very carefully about the details when we
design. Materials, forms, textures and shapes are
components that need to come together to create a
Sampling, testing and prototyping is a key part
of how we work. Our studio is filled with inspiring
examples from previous projects.
Glossy black onto raw ply creates a contemporary
surface for interpretation in the You Say You Want a
Revolution at the V&A.
Theatre is not always performed on a stage,
sometimes the performance unfolds through a
landscape. Our design creates a spatial narrative that
both performers and audience interact with.
Our designs consider how movement and interaction
are integrated within a wider narrative. We think
about how and when people will interact with
something and take create care to make sure our
designs our intuitive to use.
Whether a performance, exhibition, music venue or
someone’s home, our work is always experienced
by people. Our work considers how people will
experience and interact with our designs, and how
they feel and what they do within our spaces.
Creative collaborations help us bring another
dimension to our work. For Light Fantastic, we
worked with artist Liz West to create an immersive
installation. This playful space also conveyed
complex scientific principles.
We think of our spaces as a choreography of light
and colour. The pacing through the spaces needs
to ebb and flow - like the choreography of a theatre
We are interested in designing for performance,
both the performance of actors in a play and the
performance of participating audiences in a narrative
space. We also work with actors and theatre
professionals to give life to the narratives we shape.
Text often plays an important role in our work. It
carries tone and stories, and it is critical that any
layers of text are integrated into the designs in a
considered way. We write text or work with curators
and writers in client teams to design these layers of
We care deeply about quality, about how things are
made, crafted and finished. Producing work of the
highest quality is engrained in our ways of working
and thinking. Every minute detail tells a story.
How you say something reveals a lot about who you
are. It creates an impression and shapes people’s
feelings. Whether for an exhibition, an experience or
a brand, we work with clients to shape a tone of voice