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“We spent a lot of time working with Fabrique and thinking about the narrative structure of the show. We thought about people flow and the different emotion you can experience in different room. The aim is for visitor to experience a sense of wonder and strangeness.”
Justin McGuirk

The immersive experience "on mars today' invites you to step onto Mars, smell Mars and be aware of its possibilities but also about its threat. It is familiar, yet different from what you thought you knew. In just a few minutes, you experience Mars in the daytime, during the night and even during different seasons.  

A multisensorial installation

Part of our work was designing the exhibition’s graphic style, colour scheme and infographics. The complete look and feel are inspired by the esthetics of the conquest of space existing in our collective imagination, fed by pop culture, history and myth. We also added a speculative feeling to it. We used a disrupted aesthetic to illustrate the rough process of space conquest as well as the distinctive communications delay from space to earth.

Graphics, material and light

We made sure the exhibition appeals on all levels, to engage both design enthusiasts and families. It’s visually attractive but also ‘turns minds on’. We specifically designed a trail for younger visitors, something The Design Museum had not done before. A ‘Mars Mission’ takes children aged 8+ through a series of design briefs set by design and space specialists, including ESA astronaut Tim Peake. Every room provides kids with an activity, while parents can enjoy the exhibits.

Fun for all ages

We approached the project as if we were making a movie. we wrote a script of the visitor experience, drew storyboards and built scale models as reference points for all parties. We chose the materiality and light atmosphere. Each section of the show has its own atmosphere, colour and emotion, leading the visitor on a journey from London to Mars, and back down to Earth again. The concept “Mars an earthly adventure", unfold section after section. Very linear journey. All of this work was led by the idea of creating a multi-sensorial experience more than an object driven exhibition. 

Directed like a movie

Concept poster for the exhibition

Mars, an earthly adventure

Client: The Design Museum - London

Design: Exhibition Concept, Visitor Experience,

Role: Design & Art Direction

Design Museum asked Fabrique to come up with a concept for an exhibition about Mars, as well as setting up the visitor experience and the look and feel of this exhibition. It is the ultimate adventure for our generation and generations to come: travelling to and living on Mars. 'Moving to Mars' is a show about the human experience of 
travelling to and living on another planet. But even if we never go there, there is much to learn on Earth from designing for another planet. Moving to Mars aims to help us reconsider how we use resources on Earth.

"It’s an intelligent and thoughtful exhibition. Its most compelling sensation, though, is one of wonder."
The Guardian


Exhibition Design:

All Things Studio

Exhibition Build:

Factory SettingsnLight

Chief Curator:

Justin McGuirk

Experience Design, Spatial Design & Visual Design:
Fabrique & NorthernLight

Like a real mission to Mars, we coordinated closely with many specialists and experts. Together with The Design Museum and their curators, but also with 3D designers, lighting designers, A/V-specialists, video producers and exhibition builders, we directed all the parts into one compelling experience. We even consulted scientists working on NASA’s Curiosity mission to make sure that, while sometimes speculative, the experience is grounded in science and reality.


Blue Elephant


Blue Elephant

Academic Partner:

Imperial College London, with the help of Professor Sanjeev Gupta

The floor is a knobbly surface that imitates Mars ground. The planet’s scent is also pumped into the room. It’s a sort of a dry must, something like old suede."

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