Royal Australian Mint Factory Viewing Gallery
- Hatchling Studio
- Fig design
The RAMint’s new Factory Viewing Gallery communicates the complex coin making processes, engaging diverse audiences and maximising the impact of factory views.
A colour-coded diagram outlines the coin production process that had not previously been documented. This diagram underpins the exhibition design, serving as a physical and conceptual navigation schema reinforced by cognitive, sensory and environmental cues. The schema extends to the floor, walls and touchscreens that interpret factory views.
Consistent and multiple application of the schema provides a simple system for communicating complex, technical topics. Touch screens extend understanding and encourage visitor exploration of the factory environment.
Interpretation of industry is rare in Australia and the new Factory Viewing Gallery is a unique educational exhibition that interprets the technology of coin production. Breaking down the production process into clear stages, indicated by colour coding throughout the exhibition, supports the commmunication of a complex subject in a coherent, entertaining and accessible manner. The schema unites design and content across the physical environment, digital media and factory views. The gallery connects with the factory environment, continuing the industrial feel through material and visual cues.
The design strategy unites content, object display and the visitor environment through the visual representation of the production process. The project demonstrates the effectiveness of a strategic, hybrid role for communication designers in interpretive contexts that bridges research, planning and writing.
The Factory Viewing Gallery was the primary feature of the Mint’s 50th anniversary, with over 4,000 visitors. It was Highly Commended at the prestigious Museums and Galleries National Awards, reflecting its significance in the national museums and tourism landscape. The Mint estimates it will attract 250,000 local (20%), interstate (20%) and international (60%) visitors per year. Manufacturing receives little attention as an exhibition subject in Australia, yet has proved very popular with visitors. The project’s success in distilling complex technical content into an accessible form for the layperson makes it an engaging and educational tourism destination.
The project is design-led, communication focused and visitor-centred. It utilizes current technology to help connect visitors with activities on the factory floor. Digital touch screen content maps to visitor views of the factory, encouraging interaction and exploration of the equipment. Visitors can choose to navigate content by process sequence or by location in the factory.
A GoPro camera captured footage of previously unseen processes inside dangerous machinery, which would not have been possible using older technology. This vision of machines in action adds significant value to the visitor experience, particularly for those visiting outside of factory working hours.