Behind the Store: Designing Science Museum Pop Up

5 Nov 2014

This week, The Science Museum has opened the doors of its first pop up shop in the Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent. We caught up with the Jonty Craig, co founder of the design agency, Bat Studios to find out how they brought the Science Museum store to life.

Science Museum

What was the Science Museum brief?

The Science Museum wanted us to create a unique and experimental space, evocative of a scientific space but without falling into the cheesy cliches. They also tasked us with creating a space that didn’t just appeal to kids but to parents too.

How did you achieve this?

We didn’t just fill the space with walls of products, we created space for demonstrations and testing tables, so their products could be explored and enjoyed. We wanted to avoid science cliches so we avoided going down the cartoony design route you see in many kids stores. We used creative construction techniques to reach and engage with an adult audience too. For instance, all the shelving was built out of Mechano.

Science Museum

Where did you look for inspiration?

We tried to emulate The Centre Pompidou (with a fraction of the budget.) All the structures were stripped back so we could expose what they were made out of.

What was the biggest obstacle you faced?

To decorate the store we had to fill 4000 test tubes with coloured water. That was a feat of logistics and recquired a lot of determination.

Science Museum

How would you describe the overall look and feel of the shop?

Visually tactile; the surfaces and structures were all made of contrasting materials and colours. To make sure it remained cohesive with the Science Museum we threaded in many elements of the Science Museum’s own graphics and branding. For instance, the test tubes are all filled with coloured water that relates to the 8 different colours of the Science Museums graphics.

Science Museum

Science Museum

How do you want people to feel when they walk in?

We wanted to them to go “ooh” when they walked past but to get even more when they walked in there. The store was designed to be a visual explosion of ideas in a fun and engaging way. Ultimately, we wanted to give people a reason to smile.

Science Museum

Science Museum


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