Author Archives: jonathan

Stanley Spencer at Somerset House

DHA completed the lighting for the new exhibition of Stanley Spencer’s Sandham Memorial Chapel paintings, Heaven in a Hell of War, which chronicle his experiences as a War Artist & medical orderly in WW1. Normally displayed in the purpose-built chapel in Burghclere, the canvases have moved to a temporary home in Somerset House whilst the chapel is restored.

DHA worked with the exhibitions staff at Somerset House & curators from the National Trust to ensure these monumental works are displayed to their full advantage in their new home.

David Robertson speaks to National Museum of Korea

David Robertson speaks to the NMK

DHA Director David Robertson was asked to address the National Museum of Korea last week, on the subject of museum gallery lighting. The invitation came about as a result of a visit by the NMK Director to London, where DHA’s work was seen by Dr. Kim Youngna, and recommended by the staff of the Asian Dept. at the V&A Museum. David addressed around 150 NMK conservators & curators, plus staff from many other museums across Korea, on the topic Lighting the Past: The V&A Museum & the Future of Exhibition Lighting. David reviewed the projects DHA have undertaken across this museum and others, and how they relate to current & future developments in museum lighting practice. He was interviewed by the NMK team, and met with curators and in-house designers of the National Museum.

DHA Designs feature in Lux Magazine #30, October 2013

Two of our recent projects featured in extended articles in this month’s Lux Magazine. The first article, The Appliance of Science, details our Lux Awards-shortlisted project for the exterior lighting of the Science Museum, covering the brief and some of the technical difficulties we encountered on site. The second article, two pages further on, Making an Entrance, covers the re-design of the entrance space of the V&A Museum, using all solid-state devices. The article includes quotations from the V&A’s Estates manager, Richard Boston, praising the scheme for coping with some of the installation & design problems – not least of which is a 15m-high ceiling.

DHA & the D&AD Awards

DHA were delighted to have been the lighting designers for three out of the four nominated exhibitions in the spatial design category at this year’s D&AD awards.

The three schemes that DHA worked on could not have been more different, each requiring a considered approach to the lighting scheme to reflect the individual scheme design, the needs of the audio-visual environment and the very particular lighting requirements of the objects in each exhibition.

Google’s Weblab project required a cool palette of light to suggest the laboratory environment, punctuated by splashes of warm light to indicate interaction and energy.

Heatherwick Studio’s Designing the Extraordinary scheme required a tight punch of light onto each item and object on display to create a jewel-like display of this company’s remarkable output.

The Casson Mann-designed Hollywood Costume sought to re-create the hyper-reality of the film soundstage with dramatic, dark backdrops and projected images to immerse the visitor in the world of character creation by the work of the costume designer.

Congratulations to all of the nominated scheme designers. We were delighted to have provided the lighting designs to each of these remarkable exhibitions.

DHA at Museums + Heritage Show, 2013

DHA Director, Jonathan Howard took part in the Influence of Technology in Exhibition Design seminar at the Museums + Heritage Show last week at Olympia in London. Discussions ranged across the use of smartphones for visitor engagement to the development of compelling interactives. As might be expected, the topic of LEDs for saving energy was also discussed in detail. Around 40 museum professionals attended the seminar, hosted by Robert Simpson, founding director of technology company, Electrosonic.

Google Weblab is nominated for a Webby Award

A post on the Science Museum blog today announced our project at the Science Museum for Google, Chrome Weblab, has been nominated three awards at this year’s Webby Awards, including one for the Best Visual Design – Aesthetic category. Normally these awards go to ‘virtual’ designs, so for a physical project to be nominated is pretty unusual – and highly prestigious. We’d be highly delighted if you were to follow the link to the awards & vote for the Weblab in the best visual design category! At last count, the project was in the lead with 52% of the vote, so the project has a very good chance of being honoured.

Hollywood Costume at the V&A is ‘a blockbuster’

After five years work, the V&A’s major exhibition on costume design for film has now opened. DHA were commissioned to light this very atmospheric show which exhibits over 100 of the most iconic costumes from a century of film-making history.

Reviews have been very positive. The Week described the show as ‘jaw-dropping’, The Guardian said ‘Starry’, the London Evening Standard gave the exhibition five stars, as did the Independent. The Telegraph called it a ‘blockbuster’ and gave it four out of five stars. The Artlyst website described the show as ‘the sort… many museums only imagine possible’.

More about the exhibition can be found on the V&A’s website, here.

Google’s Weblab at the Science Museum

Designed by Google to showcase their groundbreaking Chrome Experiments, this year-long exhibition is now live in London, and on the internet. ┬áDesigned as a physical and virtual exhibition, visitors can physically interact with exhibits by visiting the museum, or access them online, twenty-four hours per day. ┬áThe lighting gives a ‘clean room’ style to the basement area of the Science Museum, whilst pools of warmth draw the visitor to the five distinct exhibit areas.

Heatherwick exhibition at the V&A

DHA provided the lighting scheme for the V&A’s new exhibition on the extraordinary work of Thomas Heatherwick & his studio. The exhibition is the culmination of the museum’s recent series of events celebrating British design, and runs from 31st May until 30th September. More information is available at the V&A website

The Guardian interviewed Thomas in the Porter Gallery at the V&A Museum, where he explains his approach to design and the work of his studio.

DHA win at Lighting Design Awards 2012

We were very pleased to take the award for the Public Building category at the 2012 Lighting Design Awards, even though we had to beat another of our projects (Glasgow’s Riverside Museum) which was also shortlisted, to win. The winning project was the Atmosphere Gallery at the Science Museum, described by the judges as ‘Clever, thoughful and visually stunning’.

This has been one of our most successful categories at these highly-competitive awards, with wins in 2003, 2007 & 2012 and ‘Highly Commended’ certificates in 2009 & 2011.

Jonathan Howard from DHA accepts Public Buildings award from Sally Sorey & Rob Deering