The Designer's Task
Matthew Guzowski has worked at Sydney Living Museums since early 2012. Before running his own interiors and exhibition design practice, he worked at Questacon: the National Science and Technology Centre, Canberra, which is Australia’s biggest children’s museum and technology centre.
Recently he was the 3D exhibition designer for the exhibition Celestial City: Sydney's Chinese Story, on display at the Museum of Sydney (29 March - 12 October 2014). Matthew says his role is a diverse one that involves both the conceptual storytelling development at the start of the exhibition process as well as the technical design and build later on in the process.
At the start it’s about working with the curator to understand the content and begin to work out the constraints for displaying or communicating that content. Then later on, it’s about liaising with fabricators, construction workers, joiners, builders, and others, for the production process.
Interview with Matt Guzowski
Watch the video below as exhibition designer, Matt Guzowski, talks about the process behind developing Celestial City: Sydney's Chinese Story at the Museum of Sydney (29 March - 12 October 2014)
The diverse colour palette and vitality was inspired by the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and from the joss houses that were around NSW at the time. For the Chinese immigrant communities working the goldfields, their joss houses provided a little microcosm of their culture. In some ways they look really garish as they had all these crazy colours and conflicting things, but it was like a little multivitamin of their culture that they could take.
A hasty INstallation
Have a giggle and watch the team from SLM speed through the installation of Celestial City: Sydney Chinese Story at the Museum of Sydney (29 March - 12 October 2014). This time lapse video shows the installation in just a few minutes - in real time this actually took two and a half weeks.
Most of the design starts with the 3D designer and then flows into the graphic designer, but out of a 12 month process there are probably about eleven and a half months of pure overlapping collaboration and then a couple of weeks either side where I get the start and Bruce [Smythe, graphic designer] has the finish. Bruce refines it and makes it better.
Scroll through images featuring just some of the inspiration for the design of the Celestial City exhibition and photographs from the finished product.
Recently added stories
Uncovering the trail of a lost masterpiece
Sydney Living Museums volunteer, author and art historian Robert Holden has devoted his sleuthing skills to the search for a missing life-sized portrait of Irish-born prima donna Catherine Hayes last seen in a photograph from 1917. Can you help with this ongoing mystery?
About Bohemian Harbour: Artists of Lavender Bay
With its sweeping views across the sparkling water to the city skyline, Lavender Bay on Sydney’s lower north shore has inspired generations of artists. This spring, a new exhibition at the Museum of Sydney celebrates our spectacular harbour through the perspectives of some of the city’s best-known and most admired artists.