Drawing on the National Library of Scotlands unparalleled collection of documents and treasures from the key Scottish figures of the enlightenment the ‘Northern Lights’ exhibition explored the central role Scottish figures including David Hume, Adam Smith and James Watt played across Philosophy, Medicine, Arts, Science and Economics.
Concentrated over a brief period in history and a few square miles of Edinburgh unpicking the myriad friendships, influences and contributions of the key figures of the Enlightenment posed a unique challenge.
Two digital exhibits complemented the exhibition, Enlightened Connections presents an interconnected matrix of the key figures allowing visitors to explore their friendships, influences and contributions. Enlightened Edinburgh offers the users an interactive map of Edinburgh anchoring the lives of the thinkers in the homes, schools, churches and coffee shops they inhabited.
Developed as standalone touchscreen based interactives the project utilised an online authoring platform which allowed the curators to review the interactive experiences from an early prototyping stage.
Allowing the curators to directly populate and review the exhibits in realtime gave them a full understanding of how the experience would work well in advance of the on-site install. The web based framework also allowed the interactives to be reused online as part of the exhibitions online learning resources