Climate Control

Nominated for the FX Best UK Project of 2016, this story of global warming empowers the visitor by showing that it’s never too late.

MET Studio was commissioned to design a special exhibition exploring the impact we all have on the climate, that would launch a season of talks and events around the theme of climate change, at the Manchester Museum.

The engaging narrative that resulted was borne from the close collaboration between the Manchester Museum and MET Studio, which deliberately set out to avoid negative stories of climate change, focusing on giving visitors opportunities to express what matters to them whilst encouraging civic action.

The exhibition sought to explain how our ways of life have impacted the climate, positively or negatively, and through a series of surprising and moving installations demonstrate how whilst we can’t change our past, we can change our future, connecting people with the climate change story, and showing how we each can and do make a difference, collectively contributing to shaping the world.

MET was inspired by the idea of balance, cause and effect, and how small individual actions can have a big collective impact. They used these as their guiding principles to create a series of installations that suggest, “together we can change the future”, and built a narrative environment where each visitor shaped the course of their experience through choices they instinctively make whilst navigating the galleries.

Weaving in the story of the Peppered Moth, we also used the moth as a metaphor for transformation and change, to link different exhibits together. The Peppered Moth evolved rapidly in Manchester during the Industrial Revolution – adapting colour to camouflage itself against the changing environment.

MET Studio also designed the look and feel for the exhibition as well as illustrated posters, using contrast in colour, symmetry in environmental design and balance in content. Graphically, marrying the Museum’s brand identity with hand-drawn elements, we can integrate humanity into the subject, where calls to action are man-made. The designs were all built with low carbon emissions in mind and produced from recycled and recyclable materials, using environmentally friendly inks, and energy saving light sources.

“We always aim to create impactful and memorable experiences. Through close collaboration with MET Studio we produced exhibitions that take visitors far beyond the role of spectators, but enable them to take part, sharing their ideas and telling us, and one another, what matters to them. By giving visitors a voice in the exhibitions, we believe that we created a space that promotes civic participation around an issue of local and global concern.” Henry McGhie, Manchester Museum.

Key facts:

91,000 people visited Climate Control across 16 weeks from May until September 2016

Climate Control and related work will also be presented at the international Congress of the History of Science/ Future Earth in Rio de Janeiro in July 2017Featured in Museums Journal, four times since its opening, the exhibition was described as ‘profound’, along with discussion on the Museum’s work on climate change and socially engaged activist practice.

Manchester Museum is hosting the World Symposium for Climate Change Communication in February 2017, where MET Studio will speak on the impact of design to change behaviours.



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