How we Design:
Frank Howarth: The Deep Oceans has fascinated people for 1000s of years. I’m Frank Howarth
and I’m the director at the Australian Museum.
In these short videos we want to tell you something about the preparations for our very
own Deep Oceans Exhibition.
Frank Howarth: Im with Aaron Maestri the Australian Museum Senior 3D designer who is working on
the Deep Oceans project.
Aaron tell, me how did you approach the design for Deep Oceans?
Aaron Maestri: I looked at it from the perspective of the visitor’s experience.
That you would come to the museum maybe not knowing anything about the Deep Oceans.
I tried to play to people’s imagination. Tying in with popular culture references things
like 20,000 leagues under the sea.
Then starting with that frame of reference moving into more of the reality of the deep
It is incredibly cold. It is incredibly dark. And there is 1000 of tones of pressure pushing
down on you.
So you want to try and convey some of those ideas. Of what an incredibly alien experience
Frank Howarth: How did you capture some of that hostility that alien environment in the
Aaron Maestri: I tried to remove all the walls. And make the exhibition about small objects,
like islands like, bubbles floating in a big dark space.
The start of the exhibition is suggestive of being in a submarine. It is also kind of
historically how people saw the deep ocean. You always had a very limited field of view.
Whether you were looking out the window of a submarine or just dragging stuff up in a
net. You only ever got glances at things and you view was always very limited and small
And so the start of the exhibition is like that. And then as you walk through to the
second half of the exhibition it is as if you have stepped out of the submarine and
into the deep ocean.
And the gallery opens up around you. And you get more of the sense of the vastness of it.
The specimens are so strange. If it wasn’t the real thing you’d never believe it could
Frank Howarth: How do you want a person who walks out of the exhibition to feel?
Aaron Maestri: To feel like they have really travelled to the bottom of the ocean.
When you go to the beach and you are standing in the water to think after you have seen
the show that you’ve only got to go just that little bit further out and down and down
and all that stuff all that weird stuff is just there.