Waterways Exhibition Design

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This paper reports on the spatial design of the immersive and interactive multimodal exhibition, Waterways, Past, Present and Future, created for museum display. The work provides a nuanced interpretation of the fragile relationship between people and water in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. The exhibit enables visitors to discover and celebrate cross-cultural perspectives regarding sustainable water practices, featuring the voices of the Syilx Indigenous community to emphasize the resilience and success stories in environmental protection. The exhibition employs multimodal communication methods, i.e., spatial, pictorial, verbal, and aural elements. The multimodal format of the exhibition provides an inclusive and immersive environment in line with the oral traditions of transferring knowledge in the Syilx Indigenous context. This paper mainly focuses on the spatial design process, as an integrative mode, which connects different exhibition themes and weaves multiple modes of communication together. The final design is the embodiment of a reflective conversation between research and creative practice, creating an informative and pedagogical space to immerse visitors in the Okanagan waterways’ history and narrative.