Aramcorama Exhibition Design

Client: Ithra Cultural Centre / Aramco. Year: 2019 Country: Saudi Arabia

The Aramcorama exhibition is a permanent exhibition at the Ithra Cultural Centre (The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture), Saudi Arabia’s astonishing new museum complex. The exhibition is a narrative and engaging display of the archive of Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest petroleum and natural gas company. Aramcorama celebrates the Saudi Aramco legacy through an array of carefully selected historical documents and rare manuscripts, allowing the visitor to understand the story of Saudi citizens, and how they collaboratively invested in technology and in developing minds to challenge boundaries: building a stirring history and establishing a better future.


Tarek Atrissi Design was commissioned to conceptualise and design the exhibition graphics, which were the key elements of the exhibition design: large-format printed suspended graphics covered the entire exhibition space. Arabic calligraphy played a major role in the design, as it was designed to form a linear timeline that ran across the exhibition. The calligraphic design treatment, combined with customised lighting and other graphic elements, created the illusion of an animated stream of particles that transformed the static presentation into a dynamic one.


Semi circular Arabic calligraphy compositions of relevant Qur’anic quotes, crafted manually in large sizes and reproduced digitally, were part of a bilingual visual design that extended horizontally across the exhibition, and that connected to a world map produced of fine particles and showing the activities of Saudi Aramco all over the world.


The result was a breath-taking exhibition space where Arabic calligraphy and typography became central in narrating the history and story of Saudi Aramco, from the discovery of the oil wells in 1930s until today. A large interactive screen with an integrated video wall allowed visitors to explore the rich archive of the company and its relationship to the history of the country. A backlit wall- designed as a timeline with large photographs from each of the last 10 decades, was another element of the scenographic exhibition design approach.


The last part of the exhibition was a monumental large scale typographic installation celebrating the prosperity of the country: created in a calligraphic composition visualising the knowledge stream concept that runs across the entire museum, in the forms of flowing golden particles that carry infinite learning. It represents the constant flow of knowledge: never ceasing, ever-spreading; and delivering inspiration that grows into beautiful memories.


This exciting project was a result of a collaboration between various parties and experts in addition to the team at Saudi Aramco; with Atelier Bruckner taking the lead on planning and exhibition design; LDE Belzner Holmes designing the lighting; and the media / films / sounds being design, planned and produced by Art+Com and Medienprojekt p2; and Tarek Atrissi Design developing 2D graphics, Typography and Calligraphy, and interactive design visual guidelines.


The 560 sqm exhibition is on display at the ithra cultural centre in the city of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, and is open to the public and visitors of the museum.


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