The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is a world leading cultural centre, celebrating the moving image in its many forms; film, television, computer gaming and digital culture. As a major cultural attraction, the site at Melbourne’s federation square was visited by 1.14 million visitors in 2010-2011, both local and international.
Starting life as the State Film Centre in 1946, ACMI evolved from being a collection based institution to an internationally recognised hub for screening and advocacy, screen education, industry engagement and audience involvement. Recent changes to the architectural layout of the site and the addition of several new exhibition facilities demanded a thorough review of the centre. Our challenge was to develop a detailed understanding of ACMI user behaviour and their abilities to navigate within the site, while at the same time considering the centre’s operational requirements.
With the evidence collected through an extensive audit of the site and research into the area of user behavior, we were able to look specifically at the problems inherent in this mutli-level space. The addition of exhibition spaces, relocation of the buildings external entrances and complex architectural layout were all identified as barriers to movement within the facility.
This project provided an amazing opportunity for us to build upon ACMI’s unique cultural position in Melbourne by creating a legible, sophisticated wayfinding & signage solution for this very dynamic complex environment.
We developed a language for the forms that are based on the conceptual idea that underpins the institute – the moving image. The design of the signs uses the spectrum of refracted light to reference the way that the moving image requires light to capture image on film. The array of colours also looks to celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the works featured within the exhibition space. Materiality and form was carefully considered to ensure that the signage spoke the same language as the architecture. Hierarchy and legibility were paramount in terms of the signage meeting the requirements demanded by our wayfinding strategy.
By identifying the major entrances and developing a mapping system that utilized colour and landmarks to promote navigation within ACMI, our design response encourages better movement within a sophisticated and highly complex environment.