DIVA AT THE V&A
Major V&A exhibition celebrating the diva
Opening in June 2023 at the V&A museum, London, Diva is the first exhibition of its kind to explore the evolution of iconic performers from the 19th century to the global megastars of today. Featuring objects from stars including Maria Callas, Tina Turner, Cher, and Madonna. The show is open at the V&A museum for 9 months before embarking upon a worldwide tour.
Overview of technical
With such a varied collection of objects from over 50 divas, the desire from exhibition curator Kate Bailey was for each diva’s iconic music to accompany them. In quite a challenging gallery space to work within and with sound designer Gareth Fry onboard, the design team decided at an early stage that audio guide system would give the best possible visitor experience.
We supported the V&A throughout the exhibition design process, to tender, and into onsite delivery. Bringing together a highly integrated audio-visual experience for the visitor.
AV SYSTEMS DESIGN
During the design phase of the project, we assisted the V&A Design Studio with AV planning. From selection and verification of projectors, lenses and throw distances, to specification of projection surface materials and media playback systems.
In conjunction with architects, we created a tender specification for the installation of the AV hardware and audio guiding systems with design drawings, projection elevations and system schematics.
Early in the project, the curatorial team decided an audio guiding solution would give the best experience for the visitor, especially when presenting musical works from over 50 divas. We technically verified several systems available, and the Tonwelt SPERIC integrated headset delivered on all the required aspects, including on-board audio playback, triggering over infrared and RF with timecode synchronisation, and Ambisonic audio decoding.
The triggering solution was integrated with WATCHOUT media servers and a Pharos lighting system to meet the museum’s brief for an immersive exhibition.
We worked closely with the V&A exhibition management team and object installation team to schedule the various onsite activities required by the sound and video design teams, the curators, and the AV hardware installation contractors, within a very compressed build programme.
Additionally, we provided onsite technical support, programming media servers, the audio guide system, and integrating the technical systems.
The people and companies that made it happen.
A huge thanks to the team at the V&A Museum and Flemming Associates for getting us involved and trusting us with the technical ambitions of the project.
Our design team was led by Joe Callister, who also worked onsite to technically manage the installation and provide programming support for the AV and Tonwelt systems.
Thank you to Philipp Hinz and his team at Tonwelt for assisting with the technical design, installation, and integration of the audio guide system.