Display from the Encounters exhibition and dinosaur skeletons lit up and on display
  • Freeman Ryan Design (FRD) and Thylacine Design and Project Management awarded exhibition design contracts  
  • Australian exhibition design teams will work with WA Museum staff to develop engaging exhibitions and visitor experiences
  • Exhibition design program developed in parallel with new building

Western Australia’s extraordinary landscapes, environment and the stories of its people will be translated into exciting and immersive visitor experiences by two of Australia’s leading creative design companies.

FRD and Thylacine have been awarded contracts to design the exhibition and public spaces for the New Museum for WA.

Both companies, and their partnering teams, are internationally recognised for their innovative interpretive approaches and have designed a range of impressive national and international cultural and tourism projects.

WA Museum CEO Alec Coles said the two companies will be working in partnership with the Museum’s staff and its users to create world-class experiences.   

“The exhibitions are being developed with a People First approach and the design teams will develop compelling and distinctive displays that will profoundly connect visitors with the stories of WA,” he said.

The exhibitions will be designed based on major themes including Continuous Cultures, Voices, Life, Origins, Changes and Connections. They will share concepts relating to the beginning of the universe to the issues that may face us in the future. Throughout the New Museum the voices and perspectives the State’s many diverse and multicultural communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, will be shared.

The content will be displayed on all levels of the New Museum as well as in public spaces, amenities and landscaping. It will include exciting interpretive approaches for object display, multimedia and digital experiences, artist commissions and a range of theatrical, immersive and experiential spaces.

FRD and Thylacine will also work closely with the New Museum’s Managing Contractor, Multiplex and its design team HASSELL+OMA, to develop an integrated and dynamic museum experience.  They will collaborate on visitor experiences that incorporate best practice for innovation, sustainability and accessibility; creating a place that is both welcoming and exciting.

“Each of the exhibition design teams brings a combination of creativity and experience to our project. We look forward to them pushing the boundaries and setting new standards for interpretation and design excellence,” Mr Coles said. 

The content and exhibition design is developing in parallel to the building design timeline.  Main building construction works are expected to be completed by the end of 2019 with exhibition installation and fit out occurring throughout 2019-20. The New Museum is on schedule to open in 2020.


About FRD and Thylacine

FRD has extensive experience both nationally and internationally in the museum and tourism industries. They have designed exhibitions and experiences for national museums including the Dinosaurs exhibition at the Australian Museum, Sydney; the entry and discovery space at the Queensland Museum and the award winning Yiwarra Kuju, Stories from the Canning Stock Route for FORM and National Museum of Australia. Recently they have opened three new exhibitions in the Asian Cultures Museum in Singapore. With over ten years' experience in WA, they have developed more than eight projects in WA including the displays at the Pinnacles Desert Discovery in Cervantes and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Nedlands. 

Thylacine has developed national and local exhibitions including Lost Creatures gallery at Queensland Museum, Encounters for the National Museum of Australia, Ningina Tunapri gallery at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Voyages to the Deep for the Australian Maritime Museum (now showing at the WA Maritime Museum).  In Western Australia they designed the displays for the highly acclaimed National Anzac Centre, Albany.

Media contacts

Mara Pritchard                                                   Renae Woodhams
Manager, Communications and Media          Principal Project Officer – Communications
Western Australian Museum                            New Museum Project
(08) 6552 7803 | 0414 381 761                       (08) 6552 7654 | 0402 977 366
mara.pritchard@museum.wa.gov.au             renae.woodhams@museum.wa.gov.au


@wamuseum #WAMuseum