December 2020



The Australian Centre for the Moving Image


Interaction Design

software development and installation



Curation and backend technical content access/APIs

Second Story

Concept, Schematic and Detailed Design for Experience & Exhibition design


Hardware Partner

OOM Creative & MORE Studio

Projected Corresponding Data Visualisation

Swinburne Centre for Design Innovation

Lens design

As part of the centrepiece ACMI exhibition 'The Story of the Moving Image', ACMI briefed the Grumps to create a conclusion that bound together the gallery experience by synthesising what visitors had learnt and collected throughout the museum and set the stage for a post-visit experience.

Constellation was about creating an interactive that shows the meaningful connections between the various media fragments that make up the story of a moving image. How does The Wizard of Oz connect to Cuphead, or what is the relationship between The Simpsons and Buffy The Vampire Slayer? The expert curation team at ACMI had many answers but not the platform to share them with their visitors. They needed to find a way to curate, connect and share these with visitors. And do it in such a way as to leave them with a thrill. So we built it with them.

Visitors tap a 'lens' to collect examples as they move around the gallery. This feeds into an interactive visualisation. Displayed on six dual controlled touch screens. Sitting pretty at the conclusion of the exhibition and jam-packed with bespoke content created by ACMI's incredible curatorial team.

The interface needed to be as meaningful and exciting as the connections it was displaying, and it was. If the content was poorly presented and difficult to find or navigate, the visitor would soon lose interest. We worked hard to ensure Constellation is the perfect vehicle to show connections between media fragments.

We worked from concepts initiated by our friends at Second Story and then took them up to the next gear. Through careful design, multiple iterations and relentless user testing, we were able to define simple rules and design a structure based on the format of the content (or stars) to form visual maps (or constellations), to build up this complex interactive.

Visitors could explore the unexpected connections between films, TV, video games, and art using media collected within the museum on their Lens, an NFC connected experience. Users are invited to explore and discover the nebular of media items, like a cloud of data.


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