Museums are nothing new to people. Neither are museum technology integration modes and methods for those techno cerebrals. However, here is one that is truly one-of-its-kind, for both the commoners and connoisseurs. For, the multitude of technologies woven around the exhibits; the finesse and fabrication at places- places it on a different platter altogether.
The National Museum, the largest in India, is the museum in question. Executed as a design-build project by the Gurugram-based systems integrator TricolorIndia Schauspiel, the museum today is a new phenomenon of experiencing human endeavours- via technology. It’s our Video of the Month this time, with a glimpse of what it is in reality.
While any museum is a showcase of human endeavours in a chosen domain, the National Museum in New Delhi enjoys a different aura altogether. Its very genesis is one of a historical phenomenon, the museum symbolizes India’s identity, cultural and historical antiquity and socio-economic continuity through the ages and many other human endeavours that have marked its journey from antiquity to modernity.
Being the largest museum in the country – with over two lakh (200,000) exhibits of diverse nature – it’s a kind of national pride with India’s heart and soul being manifested in all its glorious ramifications through history.
So, when the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) – the Museum’s Governing Body working under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India – decided to revamp the way the museum showcases its exhibits, the call was to weave in modern digital presentation technologies to optimise the experience of the exhibits for the visitors, on par with the international standards, if not even better.
“The client wanted to create a holistic space for the visitors, which will be in sync with the modern times of digital interventions, and at the same time maintain the core value system of the institution of imparting knowledge while safeguarding the dignity of the artefacts,” says Garima Mishra, Managing Director of Tricolor India Schauspiel, the New Delhi-based Systems Integration firm that landed the prestigious project.
“Our works included digitization and facelifting of the Main Reception, along with three other galleries- Company Paintings, Central Asian Artefacts (CAA) and Buddha Gallery,” explains Garima. “Further, providing world-class technologies and digital intervention solutions to bring out the essence of the museum and stand it on par with international standards.”
The integration firm was tasked with the supply, installation-integration, testing, and commissioning (SITC) – plus three years of onsite maintenance of digital and immersive experience in the Reception Hall and other areas.
Having won the prestigious project of scale, Tricolor India had to work closely with the museum administration as also with various subject matter experts approved by the authorities to weave in the intended experience.
The AV technologies brought in to elevate the visitor experience of the exhibits, therefore, included:
At the Reception:
• Interactive video walls
• 270 projection room
• Transparent OLEDs
At Company Paintings Gallery
• Interactive Projection
• Digital Photobooth
• Flora and Fauna projection
At Central Asian Artefacts
• Interactive Touch table
• Circular Projection mapping
At ASI Buddha Gallery
• Interactive Pond projection
• Interactive Touch table
• Transparent OLED with Lion Capital Statue
• Digital Flipbook
The massive scale of audio-visual and digital intervention integration that the project demanded also brought in an expansive spectrum of AV brands to create the intended experience.
The AV brands at play therefore comprised:
• Samsung Interactive Videowalls
• Viewsonic projectors
• Christie projectors
• Harman-JBL Speakers & Subs
• Crown amps
• Dataton Watchout mapping software
• Lidar sensors
In addition, the integration firm had to bring in a significant stretch of customization to complement and elevate the “holistic experience” desired by the client. The customization item/areas include:
• Hologram with 4K display & touchtables
• Photobooth; Interactive Projection
• Rotoscope; Interactive floor projection
• Lion Capital Statue
“The National Museum Delhi has now become the only museum in the country to boast so many technologies and digital interventions of various kinds to be installed in one location,” explains Prashant Singh Bisht, Manager-Client Services at Tricolor India.
“Most of the technologies that you will see at the museum are not a new phenomenon, but what sets it apart is the smart and creative use of the same,” says Prashant, who was involved with the project from ground zero level to what it stands currently.
“Installations are visually more appealing, and easier to interact with,” he elaborates further. “For example, the interactive projections with audio aid that we have installed are something which one would not really find in Indian Museums.”
“Simply put, our work is an amalgamation of technical expertise and creative genius,” sums up Prashant.
“Museums need not remain places that are daunting or restrictive where only connoisseurs of art and heritage appreciate the artefacts or relics from far; they should be inclusive and engaging,” endorses Garima. “Our installation at National Museum is one such endeavour.”