Electric Era Museum
This studio project places an existing building at 427 Laurel Street in downtown Baton Rouge in a post-apocalyptic scenario based on the TV series Revolution. It shows the world 15 years after a global blackout: no electronics, fuel powered transportation, phones, or internet… life focused on survival, hunting, gathering and protection from elements. Occasional access to electric power is available only to privileged people who know how to obtain it.
The purpose of this project was to reflect on the role of the interior designer in a global crisis and choose a new function for the assigned building based on what the people in our scenario might need. I decided to design an Electric Era Museum, gathering all possible electronics available to the Electric Era people to educate the Post-Blackout people about what life was like when electricity was available. The museum would provide guided tours explaining the use of electronics to people who might not remember them anymore, and to young people who have never seen them operate. The exhibit would also provide simulations of what could be done with electricity in case it returned.
Since access to electricity in my scenario is very limited, my design is based on the ideas of reusing and repurposing objects manufactured in the Electric Era, like the chain link fence used as a space divider, laptops and metal sign letters used to create reception desks and a vacuum cleaner used as a planter. The museum shows the contrast between natural materials obtained without electricity and high-tech colorful objects produced before the blackout.
I also researched ways to let in natural light. Three tinted glass light wells going through the whole space let in daylight and color, adding some life to otherwise dead electronics displayed in the museum. For additional illumination I added sky lights on the second floor, and light shelves on the south side windows, letting the light deeper inside.