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Heritage Futures Exhibition

Uncertainty, Transformation, Profusion, Diversity. These four broad themes provide the structure for Heritage Futures; a 4 year interdisciplinary research programme that explores ‘alternative ways of shaping future legacies and assembling common worlds across different fields of conservation practice.’ ¹

This AHRC Large Grant funded project, led by Dr Rodney Harrison (Principal Investigator) was the foundation for the Heritage Futures Exhibition. A two-year exhibition hosted by Manchester Museum, part of The University of Manchester, curated by Henry McGhie.

We were appointed to design the exhibition space and experience throughout, from graphics and interpretation to bespoke build and display styling. Our objective: to visually interpret Heritage Futures’ broad and rigorous research findings to be relevant and accessible to a wider and diverse Museum audience.

The future isn’t realised yet……
The concept of building and designing the future was central to our design thinking and informed our whole approach and aesthetic choices. We developed a visual look and feel that played on the idea of ‘under-construction’ through a high-end timber-based build and considered colour palette (pairing acid yellow and black to create a sense of urgency with a calmer green for interpretation). Interwoven with film, sound, engineered products including lightboxes and high-impact graphic backdrops, the exhibition provides a stimulating and multi-layered environment. We strived wherever possible to re-cycle cases from previous exhibitions and use sustainable and recyclable materials throughout.

The exhibition combines the latest research with an array of amazing objects and acts as a catalyst for conversations, questioning and actions for creating the future together. The exhibition runs until Autumn 2021.


Manchester Museum, Part of The University of Manchester, UK
Design: Hartland Design
Curator: Henry McGhie 
Principal academic consultant: Rodney Harrison Build and install: Manchester Museum Heritage Future is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Large Grant and led by Dr Rodney Harrison (Principal Investigator) in partnership with a host of academics, non-academics and interest groups. ¹

© 2019 Hartland Design