WELCOME TO THE BACKSTAGE

On view

Celebrating diversity

Life

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden (NL)

‘Life’ is one of the two permanent exhibitions that we created for the renewed Naturalis Biodiversity Center. We designed the exhibitions without showcases, so you can almost touch the animals. It’s a journey that takes you upwards, from the bottom of the deep sea to high up into the clouds. The first glimpse is overwhelming and the further you travel, the more animals you meet. As the path winds upwards between the animals, it looks like your fellow visitors become part of the exhibition too.

Location
Leiden (NL)
Client
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Year
2019
Surface
500 m2
Status
Permanent
Role
Concept, Spatial design, Graphic design, Art direction
Team
Mark de Jong, Niels de Jong, Remco Swart
Light design
HeinzLoopstra
Film and animations
Shosho
Build and realisation
Kloosterboer
Changing connections

The meandering path creates ever-changing perspectives that show you different views and connections. At first you might look up at an elephant, and later look through its legs. Just like the animal kingdom, the set-up features a great contrast between large and small, and shape and color. Synchronized light, sound and film bring everything to life.

Inspire first, then inform

In ‘Life’ we turn the traditional exhibition structure upside down: the visitor becomes the exhibition. First we make you part of life on earth – in the sea, on the ground, and in the air. Then we offer more in-depth information for you to read. In ‘Life’ you realize how beautiful, varied and vulnerable nature can be.And that we ourselves are an inseparable part of it.

If you remove this protective layer between spectator and object, something happens on an emotional level

Niels de Jong

Designer, KDJ