“Our vision is to create magical spaces and moments. Experiences that hit you right in the diaphragm or deep in your heart. Preferably, they hit you in both places. Our goal is to create experiences that move humans. That make them smarter and entertain them”, says Arne Kvorning, Founder of Kvorning Design & Communication.
When behavioural patterns are to be affected, Kvorning Design & Communication play on people’s emotions by setting the scene, pinpointing a certain mood for the audience. The Prison Museum in Horsens, Denmark, is one example of how the design studio can affect people directly with its designs.
“We breathed new life into the old prison’s corridors and cells by using projections, shadows, animations, lighting and sound. As well as giving the audience the chance to experience getting behind bars and hearing the door close behind them, which creates an exceptional and unique atmosphere. The mood grows on the audience and it contributes to controlling their behaviour. They feel vulnerable and open, and the utilisation of very personal narratives, scenography and dramaturgical grips contributes heavily to our ability to give the audience a whole series of special experiences”, says Kvorning.
Architect and designer Arne Kvorning is the man behind Kvorning Design & Communication, which is a design studio with more than 24 years’ experience of creating exhibition design and experiences as well as visual communication. Since its foundation in 1992, the company has created more than 5000 projects in more than 50 countries, combining exhibition design and design projects. In this project, the creation of exhibitions and experiences is happening within the spectrum between architecture, storytelling and design.
Changing Behaviour and Creating Lasting Experiences
Some of the keywords for Kvorning and his team are experiences, storytelling and how they can affect human behavioural patterns.
The exhibition in the prison museum described above lets the audience choose an authentic identity when they arrive. Do you want to be an inmate or a member of staff? Depending on what identity you choose, RFID technology (radio-frequency identification) controls what stories you will experience, customised to your specific identity and requisites. This is part of Kvorning Design & Communication’s philosophy:
“Our design philosophy is, amongst other things, that design and content must be created simultaneously – there can be no form without content, you might say. No matter what the goal is, content always comes before concept and form. It’s vital that we tell stories with the spaces we work with – in that aspect, we stand out from others”, says Arne Kvorning.
“We utilise storytelling actively. And it wouldn’t be a lie to tell you that we were amongst the first architects and designer who introduced storytelling in connection with exhibitions. Since our foundation, we have worked with a methodology from the world of movies – we called it ‘Production Design’ – and it’s all about being aware of what story you want to tell and with what means you’re going to tell it. The methodology helps the team, the client and every other participant during concept development, production and implementation to gain a common picture – a common goal and a common story. In other words, the methodology is a great help to keep track of the creative process”, says Kvorning.
Kvorning Design & Communication also make use of dramaturgical models, grips from scenography, motion pictures, animation and sound scenarios in their exhibitions. According to Kvorning, these elements characterise the studio’s exhibitions, and this way of doing exhibition design has kind of become the studio’s trademark. This was evident in the spring of 2016, when the company won the international InAVation Award for ‘Best Storytelling’ in Europe.
Kvorning Design & Communication has recently started creating a touring exhibition for the Shannxi History Museum in Xi’an, China, which makes use of Virtual Reality. The exhibition’s goal is to communicate information and a sense of what it is like to experience a whole series of unique and inaccessible chamber tombs from the Tang dynasty to a European audience.