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As the V&A opens Hollywood Costume, Roger Mann and Gary Shelley talk about their role as exhibition...
As the V&A opens Hollywood Costume
to the public, Roger Mann and Gary Shelley talk about their role as exhibition designers and what they set out to achieve.
“What we do is tell stories, as exhibition designers that’s our job. We deal with any number of different types of collections of objects, each which have stories. And of course film costumes are heavily connected to stories” says Roger Mann.
“As a film fan you’ll be incredibly passionate about working on a project like Hollywood Costume”, explains Gary Shelley “but as an exhibition designer you have to be passionate about what the public are going to see and also the process of exhibition design, the space it’s going in, the resources given to us, the time we have to build it – all those sorts of practical aspects but still somehow do the subject justice”.
"This is nothing like the V&A have ever had, I think”
, adds Mann, “as a decorative arts museum they’re used to putting on fantastic shows about beautiful objects that can stand on their own and appreciated for if nothing else their aesthetic qualities and Hollywood Costume is not that. These costumes are not decorative objects and we have to be that much more playful, that much more magical with them, much more engaging, we have to help them come alive. So we use media, projections and a lot of film but also more playful things in this exhibition where we are trying to bring out a fuller range of emotions such as you get when you go to see a movie”.
“So our thinking behind the exhibition design is the ‘behind the scenes’ view, that kind of privileged access that we can give the visitor to the stars of the screen and they’ll be in the same gallery with them”
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)...
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) have announced that they will be hosting Hollywood Costume as of April 2013 and Casson Mann will be on board to creatively direct the exhibition as it is adapted for the venue.
Casson Mann’s co-founder and creative director Roger Mann says “We’re delighted to remain involved as Hollywood Costume begins its international tour and look forward to working with the ACMI to ensure that our exhibition design works as well in their space it it does in the V&A”.
Read the full details in:
ACMI brings Hollywood Costume to Victoria
ACMI to get Hollywood Costume exhibit
The pre-launch buzz around Hollywood Costume...
The pre-launch buzz around Hollywood Costume
, designed by Casson Mann, is building; here’s a round-up of what’s in the news so far…
The Times readers get the back story on Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader and many more… http://www.thetimes.co.uk
The Telegraph’s fashion and culture readers have followed the development of this exhibition since first announced in January 2012 with a number of stories:
Hollywood’s most memorable costumes to go on display
Marilyn Monroe’s Seven Year Itch dress to go on show at V&A
The Daily Mail leads with Kiera Knightley’s donation of the purple silk grown from Anna Karenina:
Kiera Knightley’s Anna Karenina gown unveiled…
The Evening Standard highlights the white suit from Saturday Night Fever and praises the use of face projections to enliven the costumes.
Read the full review here: Hollywood Costume, V&A
And blogger Ms PLT includes a selection of images from the exhibition in her blog review at Pretty Luscious Things
Brian Sibley gives Hollywood Costume and Casson Mann a fantastic review...
The inimitable broadcaster and writer Brian Sibley gives Hollywood Costume and Casson Mann a fantastic review, saying:
“To compensate for the absence of flesh and blood bodies, the superb design of this exhibition – the work of Casson Mann design practice – imbues the costumes with surrogate life through the highly creative use of sound and lighting and imaginative projections and animations.”
“The creative wizardry supporting and surrounding these often legendary clothes is particularly well used in ‘Act One’ of the exhibition which deconstructs costume design: showing how Marit Allen’s seemingly ‘off-the-peg’ cowboy outfits worn by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain were, in fact, anything but; and how the component parts of Indiana Jones costume developed out of a sketch by Steven Speilberg from well-worn hat (aged with oil and fullers earth and a lot scrunging and sitting on) down to his boots and, of course, whip.”
“‘Act Two’ of the exhibition is a series of ingeniously staged (and thoughtfully subtitled) dialogues between actors, directors and designers: Tim Burton and Colleen Atwood talk about Sweeney Todd across Mrs Lovett’s pie-making table onto which are projected images and clips and, every now and again, a gory spattering of blood!”
Read the full piece here Hollywood: Made to Measure
BBC News - The brutal world of the Nelson-era Navy...
BBC News – The brutal world of the Nelson-era Navy
Co-curator Quentin Colville of the National Maritime Museum talks about the new exhibition against a backdrop of several of the most famous painting of the day which are on view in the new Nelson, Navy, Nation
Wall Street Journal
Marjorie Backman talks to Dinah Casson...
In the Wall Street Journal’s arts and entertainment blog Speakeasy, writer Marjorie Backman
talks to Dinah Casson and curators Rosalynd Remer and Page Talbott of Remer & Talbott about what the new exhibition reveals about the iconic Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.
Read the entertaining and insightful piece here:
Wall Street Journal Speakeasy ‘Ben Franklin Gets a Makeover’
Hollywood Costume at the V&A video reviews...
If you haven’t seen Hollywood Costume
at the V&A yet, we’ve found some great video reviews on YouTube that give you a glimpse of the amazing costumes, the media and narrative techniques that Casson Mann use to tell the story of costume design.
Hollywood Costumes Exhibition Opens in London
by WallStreetJournalDigital Network
Iconic Hollywood Costumes Exhibited in London
Hollywood Costume: Exhibition Highlights from V&A London
Hollywood Costume Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert
V&A Hollywood Costume Exhibition
a preview by Jenny Lee for Art Wednesday
New London ‘Hollywood Costume’ exhibit opens
Hollywood Costume sponsored by Harry Winston
100 years of Hollywood costumes
by WorldTodayHeadlines ©BBC
In the Top 10
Casson Mann named one of its Top 10 most awarded design studios...
At the D&AD/50 celebration Casson Mann was named one of its Top 10 most awarded design studios!
On September 18th, British Design and Art Direction celebrated its 50th anniversary and as it delved into its archives, named the agencies and design studios that had won most awards for creative excellence during the past fifty years.
Casson Mann is delighted to sit alongside peers from product, graphic, brand, identity, packaging and interior design including Pentagram Design, Studio Dumbar, Carroll Dempsey & Thirkell, The Partners, Michael Peters and Partners, Minale Tattersfield & Partners, Farrow Design and Crosbey/Fletcher/Forbes. And, of course, Apple’s design studio under Sir Jonathan Ive.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
“The real excitement of the Galleries is seeing so many different objects in so many different materials together. They are an extraordinary feast, with lots of hands-on fun bits, not only for children, but also for adults.”
Corinne Julius, Evening Standard
The refurbishment of the 15 British galleries was the most ambitious project ever undertaken at the V&A. Paintings, drawings and prints are displayed alongside costume, textiles, furniture, glass and ceramics, together with five complete period rooms. There are study areas, video rooms, discovery areas for families and interactives.
Our design intent was that visitors would feel and recognise the story, rather than learn or read about it. We did away with ‘too much text’, too much dependency on eyes and we introduced touch and sound. We varied the pace, texture, acoustic, density, colour and interactivity. In this exhibition 3,000 objects are distributed over 3,000 square metres; but the story is irresistible.
Victoria and Albert Museum
“Casson Mann ... are exceptionally committed and talented designers. They care deeply not only about the finished product but also about the integrity of the design process at every stage.”
Keeper, Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department
2003 European Museum of the Year
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Art Deco 1910 - 1939
Victoria and Albert, London
'This exhibition is big, beautiful, intelligent and seductive – a show it would be ridiculous to miss.’
Fiona MacCarthy, The Guardian
Attracting 0.3 million visitors over six months in 2003, Art Deco was the most visited temporary exhibition ever held at the V&A - until Hollywood Costume in 2013.
With furniture, graphics, textiles, fashion, architecture, interior design and more, the exhibition was a comprehensive review of this most accessible, yet complex, of styles. The exhibition installation evoked memories of childhood, grandparents and attics. A reconstruction of Rulhmann’s room in the Paris exhibition in 1925; film footage of Josephine Baker’s banana dance; a reconstruction of the magnificent Strand Palace Hotel entrance; and, finally, the spectacular 1935 Auburn Boat-tail Speedster car, enabled visitors to relive the period with all its glamour and luxury.
“Art Deco alone aims at glamour – and not glamour only, but sexual allure ... Casson Mann, who designed the sleek, chic, installation for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Art Deco exhibition, understands this perfectly.”
Richard Dormant, Daily Telegraph
The Victoria and Albert Museum
2004 Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence shortlisted
2004 FX Award for Best Exhibition Design finalist
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Churchill War Rooms
Cabinet War Rooms, London
“This visitor experience is tactile and pre-digital reflecting a mid-century, analogue, paper-driven world using contemporary technology to retain a sense of opening dusty files in an archive.”
Jeremy Hildreth, Wall Street Journal
This is the first museum in Britain dedicated to the life and achievements of a single politician. With no precedent to dictate what the public might expect, Casson Mann set out to create an experience that allows the visitor to leave feeling that they have physically met the man.
This installation is a fusion of historic objects and 70 specially commissioned audio-visual exhibits. It features sophisticated interactives that explore the famous speeches, political tactics, moments of decision and the years of isolation. The 17-metre Lifeline Table is laid out with virtual manila folders for each year of Churchill’s life containing 3,000 documents, photographs and film clips.
“Casson Mann’s unique ability to understand, interpret and translate into imaginative design solutions our most vague and notional ideas and needs produced a museum that receives constant professional credit and public approval years after opening.”
Phil Reed, Director of the Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms
Imperial War Museum
2006 Council of Europe Museum Award
2006 D&AD Yellow Pencil for Outstanding Achievement in Digital Installations
2006 D&AD Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Digital Installations
2006 Design Week Awards Joint Winner Interactive Media – Information
2006 Design Week Awards Winner Museums, Galleries & Visitor Attractions
2006 FX Award Best Museum, Exhibition or Installation Design
2005 Gulbenkian Prize shortlist
2005 The Group Leisure Industry Awards Best New Attraction
2005 Visit London Bronze Award for Large Visitor Attraction
2005 The AHI (Association for Heritage Interpretation) Interpret Britain & Ireland Award
2005 AV Magazine Awards: Consumer Installation of the Year
2005 The Joint Award for Outstanding Achievement
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Great North Museum
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
“It’s impossible for a child to visit this place and not absolutely love it! As an adult visiting with other adults, I thoroughly enjoyed myself”
Visitor quote from Dooyoo Review
Casson Mann transformed the original, much-loved Hancock museum, creating 11 new galleries and a stunning new museum for the north of England.
Visitors make a series of surprising and delightful journeys through the collections - to the Living Planet, where they come face to face with a full-sized elephant, to Hadrian’s Wall, which includes an interactive model and a wealth of archaeological finds, and to World Cultures, which presents treasures from all over the world. Each gallery contains a rich mix of interpretative techniques - immersive spaces, films, projections, interactives and animal displays.
Designed to engage local families, as well as students and researchers, the museum has been an enormous success.
Newcastle University / Tyne & Wear Museums
“The project has contributed significantly to the region’s tourism and economic impact targets, and is currently the most visited attraction in the North East”
Steve McLean, Former Senior Manager, Great North Museum
“The staggering success of the Museum more than justifies its 'Great’ title.”
Professor Eric Cross, Dean of Cultural Affairs at Newcastle University
2011 DBA Design Effectiveness Gold Award
2010 Design Week Award for Museums, Galleries and Visitor
2010 RIBA Award
2010 Arts Fund Prize 2010: nomination
2009 British Interactive Media Award
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Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
“It really is a wonderful museum”
Bob and Roberta Smith
The Beaney’s collections span ethnology, natural history, archaeology, decorative and fine art. Casson Mann worked with the museum and architects to encourage visitors from the adjacent library to go into the galleries too.
Introducing the collections is a huge Cabinet of Curiosities – stuffed birds, Greek vases, regimental trophies, Siberian maps, shoes and muskets – filling the room with variety and interest. Central tables equipped with drawers, irresistible investigative tools, and learning games provide fun for visitors and objects for study can be changed by the staff on a daily basis. The atmosphere is welcoming and family friendly and its open arms are succeeding: visitor figures increased by 190% after reopening.
Canterbury County Council / Kent County Council
“I want to thank you for taking on board the initial vision, for honing and re‐shaping it with us, and for creating the magic ‐ the process of managing all the hard‐wrought stages of professional design from pen to production – that has made the Beaney art museum happen”
Ken Reedie, Curator of Museums and Galleries for Canterbury City Council
2014 Beautiful South Awards Highly Commended
2013 Art Fund Museum of the Year shortlisted
2013 Heritage Education Trust Sanford Award
2013 Culture Awards - Cultural Landscape Award
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Stanislavski Factory Building, Stanislavskogo, Moscow
Museolobby is a descriptive title for a special place - a mixture of museum, lobby, cafe and business centre - designed inside a historic building. Once, it was the entrance to the Stanislavski factory, manufacturers of gold and silver thread, owned by Konstantin Stanislavski, founder of the first acting system.
Inspired by elements of theatre and performance, Casson Mann partially removed the first floor level to create a flytower – a void hovering over a timber floor. Visitors ‘perform’ on the wooden stage, watched by others engaged with their meetings. The seating is comfortable, with lights and huge screens made from woven ‘silver’ and ‘gold’. The effect is one of quality, elegance and careful thought.
Casson Mann designed a new open-plan environment for Horus Capital’s Moscow offices. A single timber walkway extends from the chairman’s office to the boardroom, where it becomes the boardroom table. Along the length of the walkway, workstations branch out and there are embedded cellular glass offices, creating a sense of openness and involvement.
The fly-tower in the lobby beneath cuts through the walkway, forging a direct connection between the office spaces and the Museolobby, and allowing glimpses of the fly-tower mechanism. In reception, an interactive desk reacts and changes as visitors approach. Virtual clocks display the time in different world cities.
Who Am I?
Science Museum, London
“The revamped exhibit updates both the science and the design of the 10-year-old gallery, bringing it bang up to date with the very latest advances in genetic research.”
Duncan Geere, Wired.co.uk
After ten successful years, the Who am I? gallery was re-made by Casson Mann with new, updated content. Retaining the popular, laboratory-inspired aesthetic of the original, Casson Mann introduced more solid colours, complemented by calm white light. We made the gallery more open-plan, with integrated floor and wall projections, and new, hard-wearing rubber floors.
The new gallery features historic objects, specially commissioned artworks and many, interactive multimedia exhibits and games. Visitors are able to morph their faces, predict how their voices will change over the years, experience a voice-box makeover and consider how the family gene pool and interactions with others help shape our identity.
“The result is a gallery which feels both familiar and significantly different – and more beautiful than ever.”
Professor Tim Molloy, Head of Creative Direction at the Science Museum
2011 Design Week Award for Installations - Commendation
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Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes
Imperial War Museum, London
“Tucked away on the fourth floor of the museum, visiting the Lord Ashcroft Gallery feels a bit like climbing into the loft of a big old house. And the incredible personal stories, medals, diaries, old comics and items of clothing only serve to feed the feeling you’re exploring a wonderful attic room.”
Zoe Craig, Senior Editor at visitlondon.com
Extraordinary Heroes displays the 162 Victoria Crosses owned by the Michael A Ashcroft Trust alongside the 48 VCs and 31 George Crosses held by the IWM. The challenge was to present 241 medals, each with its own citation and personal story, without overwhelming visitors.
The design features seven distinct displays, each describing a ‘quality’ of bravery. Each of the seven plinths is made from materials which reflect the content: for example, ‘Boldness’ is wrapped in steel plate, blasted through by shell fire; ‘Sacrifice’ from standing solid oak hearts with one lying fallen. The dense mix of artefacts, multimedia, interactives, sound and texture creates a gallery that is visually rich and immediately engaging.
Imperial War Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
“... a conspicuously intelligent display, with a revealing story to tell.”
Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times
Hollywood Costume occupied three galleries and delivered an absolute star-burst of evocative movie characters. From Dorothy, Scarlett O’Hara and Elizabeth I, Indiana Jones, Robert De Niro’s Jake La Motta and Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher, it presented the iconic outfits - the sparkly red shoes, Indy’s hat and jacket, Jack Sparrow’s hat - which made those characters mythical.
Matt black stage environments and studio lighting evoked a movie set, giving visitors a privileged view. They followed the journey from script to screen, playing an integral part in the process of creating characters. They could read scripts, see sketches and listen in on conversations between the director, actor and designer. Music, animation and a wealth of detail created an unforgettable visitor experience.
Victoria & Albert Museum
“Rarely have I been in an exhibition which connected so very directly to the lives and memories of visitors.”
Keeper, Furniture, Textiles and Fashion department, V&A
October 2012 – January 2013
2013 Art Directors Club Awards Bronze
2013 D&AD In Book Award Spatial Design category
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La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux
La Cité du Vin is the world’s largest visitor centre dedicated to the story of wine, and a landmark attraction in the heart of Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world.
Within Parisian architects X-Tu’s eye-catching building, Casson Mann have created an immersive, interactive and sensory visitor experience. Extending over 3,000 sqm, 24 different, large-scale exhibits range from spectacular helicopter fly-overs of the world’s most stunning vineyards, to intimate galleries in which visitors can examine the detail of historical documents and artefacts close up. Casson Mann was responsible for conceptualising and art directing all elements of the permanent visitor experience, including audio-visual and media.
‘There will of course be a cultural aspect to the site, explaining the history of wine, but it also will be a tourist hub for guiding visitors to the region and hospitality centre with restaurants and bars. There will be office space for companies in the wine industry.'
Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux
Mairie de Bordeaux
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Natural History Museum, London
“A mix of slick design and stunning objects...beautifully executed interpretation screens...a whole world is drawn from this perfect cabinet of curiosities...”
Katy Barrett, British Society for 18th Century Studies
Treasures is a celebration of the Natural History Museum’s collection, showcasing just 22 of its 70 million priceless specimens. Casson Mann created a simple, but striking, centrally-placed display plinth that makes the specimens the focus of the room. Each object has its own case to be appreciated alone. However, the monolithic black granite plinth brings them together into one dramatic installation.
Dinosaur tooth, meteorite, and an Emperor Penguin egg collected on Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition - each object has its own story, which visitors explore through interactive digital labels alongside each case. To bring warmth and animation to the gallery, LED lights wash each label stand with colour that complements the stained glass windows.
Natural History Museum
“We were extremely happy with Casson Mann’s performance in all capacities. The Treasures gallery opened in November 2012, on time and on budget, and we are pleased that the level of service Casson Mann provided through the project continued to opening and beyond.”
Wanda Sheridan, Project Director Treasures Gallery, Natural History Museum
2013 Museums and Heritage Awards - highly commended
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Lascaux: Centre International de l’Art Pariétal
Casson Mann designed a visitor attraction at the World Heritage Site of Lascaux that features a new, state-of-the-art facsimile of the paleolithic painted cave. The real Lascaux cave closed in 19