We continue with our "Meet our partners" series! This time we will find out more about Gagarin.
Located in Iceland, Gagarin is composed of a diverse team of producers, planners, designers, programmers, and audio-visual experts that have created environments and experiences with a strong and lasting impact on communities and clients’ organizations.
They have over 20 years of experience in working with a multitude of digital media, interfaces, devices, and technologies.
We had the pleasure to exchange with Geir Borg from the Gagarin team regarding their storytelling style and how they go after it...
Villreinsenteret in Norway.
One of the standards approaches Gagarin takes when telling a story, is to do so across a timeline and in geographical space.
Geir explains: "[...]There is a saying that 80% of data is geographic. Therefore, we frequently use maps placing things into perspective for the visitor. There are some unexplained magic and mystery with maps.
Who doesn’t remember turning the Globe Atlas and trying to imagine what it would be like to see a ring-tailed lemur in Madagascar, or to meet the sea monsters near Bildudalur, or imagine visiting a Roman villa by the Mediterranean sea? [...]"
For Gagarin, exploration and discovery are two ways to engage visitors on a "private" journey to an unknown land of natural or cultural treasures. For Gagarin team members, there is a rhythm and pace that plays an essential role in the emotional communication of storytelling.
"[...] There is a natural dramatical buildup in any story, which when controlled by the visitor, results in a more connected and enriching experience for them [...]".
Another common denominator from their design experience is the tangibility and interactions. Indeed, they genuinely believe that by letting exhibition visitors participate in the experience physically, they increase the chances of making the visit both enjoyable and educational.
"[...] Sometimes we employ visitor movement in our design as a way to engage muscle memory.
We use this tool as a way to enhance the experience and create long-lasting memories [...]".
Furthermore, Geir Borg tells us how they strive to close the gap between science experts, and the general public:
"[...] There is a tremendous amount of data and knowledge in the world, and it’s difficult to prioritize effectively and to give people the big picture for a given topic [...]" explains Borg, "[...] Often we must significantly simplify the information to be communicated to visitors [...]"..
Over the years, the Gagarin team has been very fortunate to work on ambitious projects with great clients, awarded both locally and internationally.
Amongst this year's awards are: MUSE Media and technology award (The Association of American Museum), European design award, Association of Experience design (SEGD), and the Red dot design awards. However, for this Icelandic studio, the visitors’ reviews are always the most precious feedback they can receive.
For example, a review from a TripAdvisor user, which reads: "
[...] After the movie, you get to experience the exhibition, which is the most interactive experience I have ever had (from the maps to the moving tectonic plates, to the interactive display screens), this exhibit has something for everyone, and if you are going with children (we did) it is a stand-out. Our 7-year old loved it as did her 73-year-old grandfather. [...]”.
Interactive wheel of a time map at Villreinsenteret in Norway.
Lastly, for Gagarin: "having the chance to stir interest, even inspire a little bit, educate and entertain visitors of museums and exhibitions is a privilege for those of us in the exhibition design and experience business".
And Wezit could not agree more with them... As we firmly believe that transmedia projects enhance and complement the understanding of an exhibit, visitors thus never "leaving" - creating a long lasting impression...