A cultural experience and drawcard visitor attraction for the brand new Christchurch Central Library.

Gibson International was selected to create an immersive and high-tech visitor attraction design as part of the $100m construction project. It needed to be impactful upon entry, with a wow factor that made the visitor feel connected to their city’s culture and heritage. We needed to evoke pride and stir curiosity, while breathing new life into the library’s digitised archives.

The Discovery Wall is a large-scale interactive display that transforms public and personal archives into interactive 3D cityscapes. A bespoke CMS allows the content to be updated at any time, ensuring the platform grows with the community.

A website and movable ‘mini-wall’ screen extend the reach of the experience, widening public participation opportunities. A website portal allows users to upload their own images and stories to the experience and spread the word beyond the city’s boundaries.

The wall is powered by our proprietary TouchCity™ technology that Gibson International created, which continues to explore new possibilities through project customisation. We worked with the library managing all stages of the experience design from concept, to UX & UI design, engineering, fabrication and installation.

Our role

  • Museum consultants
  • Experience design
  • Spatial design
  • Physical interactives
  • Fabrication and installation
  • Staff training
  • Ongoing support and maintenance

A living interactive display beckoning for public participation

Part attraction, part history, and part plans for the future, the Discovery Wall is a sprawling 7m tall touchscreen installation that greets visitors as they enter the contemporary Tūranga. A sprawling cityscape of Christchurch stretches across the screens, made up of over 1,000 cut-out ‘hero’ images of buildings, streets, landscapes, events and people.

With the touch of a finger, multiple simultaneous users can explore through the past and present, and add their own memories to the collection. Layered content and information is presented by themes, emotions, events and neighbourhoods over chronology – generating more a personal connection to the history. For many citizens of Christchurch, this is a connection to the lost built heritage and a way to remember the city as it was before the earthquakes while engaging with what it will become.

Touch on any image in the cityscape collage and visitors will discover several thousand more available to explore via curated albums and related media tags. Personal photos and stories can be uploaded through an accompanying website.

Gibson International collaborated with

Space & Time (DK), Anderson Design Ltd (NZ), Toulouse Ltd (NZ), and Christchurch Central Library (NZ)

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