The Singapore Discovery Centre’s Upper Gallery rejuvenation into ‘Through the Lens of Time’ aims to educate visitors on the beginnings of Singapore and her journey to nationhood, and to articulate the compelling need to defend the country.
Pico worked collaboratively with the Singapore Discovery Centre (SDC) on the design and build, from conceptualisation to execution. Lights, sounds, props and interactive multimedia were used alongside impactful theatrical and themed 3D shows.
One of the team’s major tasks was to translate 700 years of history into a simple, immersive, experiential journey that wove significant story components into a curated multimedia show. The start of the journey sets the tone, greeting visitors with a dynamic, sweeping view of Singapore seven centuries ago. Historical events and developments are projected on large screens that hang from the walls and ceiling, embellished with silhouetted structures and architecture.
Continuing the immersive emotional experience, a 3D stereoscopic film ‘teleports’ visitors into a bunker during World War II. An impactful multimedia show depicting wartime atrocities adds a chilling edge to the experience of Japanese occupation of Singapore. Moving further into the gallery, larger-than-life installations such as a soldier’s boot and a Merdeka fist breaking through the ground take visitors through subsequent phases of Singapore’s history.
Further on are three ‘On-Location Reporter’ green screen studios – a popular highlight of the journey. Visitors enter a studio, take the mic and step into the role of a reporter by selecting one of 22 curated stories from a touchscreen. Following a script scrolling on the teleprompter, they report on and discover new facts about key moments in Singapore’s development, such as ‘The First Currency in Singapore’, ‘Launch of National Service’, ‘Jurong Rock Caverns’ and ‘Food Sustainability’. After completing their ‘reporting assignments’, visitors can play back their experience, send the video to themselves via email, and subsequently share it on social media.
Sustainability was an important consideration as the team developed the exhibition. Centralised power control facilitates substantial energy savings in the Upper Gallery. The design also uses LED lights and other types of efficient lighting which typically use 25% to 80% less electricity than traditional incandescent lightbulbs. The multimedia shows and interactive features automatically go into energy-saving ‘screensaver mode’ when not in use.