How did you tackle the theme and weave that into the visual elements?
In terms of the graphic system we knew we needed something flexible and accessible that could hold the breadth of the subject and remain sensitive to the many voices and personal stories. In order to do this we developed an interpretation system that had three different forms, one for each of the main exhibition sections; ‘Introduction', 'Scenes of Bedlam', and 'Beyond the Asylum’. Each section uses a different typeface; Neue Haas Unica provided us with the objective curatorial voice for the introduction, we used Caslon for the main historical section, and PX Grotesk for the final section – Beyond the Asylum. We hope these decisions help to locate each section and illustrate it’s context in the wider story. The design for the exhibition title went through many iterations and forms, but we always new we wanted something sculptural and three dimensional. Something that echoes one of the reoccurring themes throughout — the idea of freedom versus restraint — but without being too explicit.
Are there any special techniques, materials or processes involved in the project?
As well as the mental health training, we visited Bethlem Gallery and Bethlem Museum of the Mind and spent a day talking to the team there and sounding out some of our initial ideas. Their experience of working with this type of material and how to be sensitive to the artists and visitors was invaluable. It felt like the design process was very open and something the whole project team could contribute to, what would traditionally be a presentation became more like a workshop and discussion.