The Hope Diamond
Challenge: Redesign the Hope Diamond Exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History
I broke the complex story of the Hope Diamond into three major aspects: natural history of diamonds, the Hope's history of ownership, and the legend of the curse. The design of the exhibit was inspired by the clean geometric facets of the diamond.
Upon entering the exhibit, guests will find themselves in the natural history area. Here they can learn about the formation, structure, and composition of diamonds, as well as what makes the Hope Diamond so rare and special. Younger guests can build a diamond structure on a touch screen table, or weigh themselves to find out how many carats a diamond their size would be.
In the next area guests learn about the social history of the Hope Diamond, from its discovery in India to donation to the Smithsonian. There are monochromatic recreations of the diamond in its various cuts and settings with which guests are able to interact.
The artifact itself is displayed in the next room. This space is devoted to beauty and wonder of the diamond.
In the last room the legend of the curse is explored. Guests can learn about the potential origins of the story, other cursed gems, and what fate befell the diamond's victims. There is a quiz guests can take to find out how they would be cursed if they owned the diamond.