Hartland Design



Heritage Futures Exhibition


Heritage Futures, hosted by Manchester Museum,
Part of The University of Manchester, UK


Concept development, 2D & 3D design, graphic interpretation, display, artwork


December, 2018

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.

“Hartland Design collaborated closely to help realise our vision for an exhibition which not only communicated our academic research to a wider audience, but which also brought fresh perspectives to our own work.”

Professor of Heritage Studies, University College London,
Principal Investigator of the Heritage Futures Research Programme /
Principal Academic Consultant on the Heritage Futures exhibition at Manchester Museum

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 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 recycle cases from previous exhibitions and use sustainable and recyclable materials throughout.

Heritage Futures, detail view of diversity area
Heritage Futures, detail view of uncertainty area
Heritage Futures, detail view of profusion area

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.


Curator: Henry McGhie
Principal academic consultant: Dr Rodney Harrison
Build and install: Manchester Museum

Heritage Futures 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 heritage-futures.org