ROM’s new vibrant and immersive exhibit: Dawn of Life
Reich&Petch continues to engage in their long-standing relationship with the ROM with a highly anticipated new gallery. Dawn of Life provides visitors with an immersive experience as they look back in time, using large-format digital displays that employ the latest multimedia technology to showcase and interpret the ROM’s superb early life fossil collection. In this regard, Canada’s rich geological history will feature in much of the story of early life on Earth, thanks to fossils discovered at four Canadian UNESCO World Heritage sites. Most of the specimens selected for this new gallery are being made accessible to the public for the first time.
The story of the Dawn of Life begins underwater. The gallery’s deep blue palette showcases the ROM’s incredible fossil collection, alongside curving displays that move sinuously through the space. Life’s earliest creatures are enigmatic, so design pairs dense fossils display with large, expressive models, artwork, and media, to help support visitors’ explorations of ancient life. As animals and plants move from water to land, the blue, organic design shifts to greens and browns, angular land formations, and lush wall murals.
Time Portals, Swirling Ribbon Guides and Jagged Constructions
The 10,000-square foot gallery’s story is chronological, comprising nearly 1,000 specimens from across geological time, starting with the earliest traces of life around four billion years ago and ending about 200 million years ago. Time periods are introduced via portals that run along the main circulation spine. A continuous, swirling ribbon, suspended from the ceiling, represents time and guides visitors through the gallery.
It spirals between geologic periods and nearly becomes severed by four red, jagged constructions that represent major mass extinction events in Earth’s history. The largest of these extinctions cuts a dramatic scar across the gallery and uses multimedia to create an intentionally constricting passageway for visitors, to emphasize the astonishing and destructive changes of this event.
The Game Changers Trail
Dawn of Life’s interpretive backbone is the game changers trail, which highlights evolutionary innovations that radically altered life on Earth. Major installations, such as the life-sized Dunkleosteus, offer experiential encounters with some of the game-changers: this 6m long bronze walk-in model gives visitors a chance to explore the evolution of fish jaws and teeth. Visitors enter its belly and consider the view from behind its massive jaws—like its prey did, hundreds of millions of years ago.
From abundant fossil exhibits to innovative, spell-binding displays, this gallery is a visitor-centric immersive exploration of the strange and wonderful history of the Earth.
The ROM has generously provided Reich&Petch with an exclusive promo code for 15% off admission to share with everyone! When purchasing tickets, use the promo code: REICHPETCH. (Promo code expires March 31 2022.)
For more information on Dawn of Life, check out the ROM’s website: https://www.rom.on.ca/en/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/landmark-new-gallery-opens-at-rom-willner-madge-gallery-dawn-of
…Or a few of the many exciting recent press articles: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/adv/article-new-rom-gallery-will-visually-transport-visitors-back-four-billion/
…And CTV television coverage: ROM opens new permanent gallery ‘Dawn of Life’ | CTV News
“Stacey and I are proud and delighted to play a role in helping bring this extraordinary gallery to life…. This stunning narrative about life’s very beginnings is both Canadian and universal, compelling, and relevant. The ROM’s visionary team has created a special experience that is deeply meaningful. It’s much more interactive than typical museum displays, and I believe Museum visitors will be engaged and amazed by the story the gallery tells.” – Jeff Willner, Lead Exhibit Donor