Motion Sickness 44 Museum of Fires Past

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Sam Stuchbury, Jordan Stent
  • Pou Rautaki / Strategic Lead
    Hilary Ngan Kee
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Hamish Steptoe
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Andrew Hathaway, Kelly France, Priya Marshall, Joseph McAlpine
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Toaki Okano, Joseph Leary
  • Client
    Fire and Emergency New Zealand

You are four times more likely to survive a house fire with a functioning smoke alarm, yet over a million New Zealanders don’t believe they are at any risk without one.

To drive this audience into action, we confronted them with severely burned personal belongings, revealing that fatality doesn’t have to be a reality in the event of a house fire.

‘The Museum of Fires Past’ is an exhibition of devastated artefacts, inspired by those retrieved from actual New Zealand house fires.

Each item carried its own unique story based on truth, and was crafted meticulously by our props team in deep collaboration with specialists at Fire and Emergency New Zealand. It was important that they accurately resembled the referenced objects, to reveal the realistic and destructive consequences of fire; with the purpose of embodying a strong visceral experience when viewed.

Laser-etched plaques then revealed that the owners all escaped unscathed, thanks to a functioning smoke alarm. This was paired with a functional and detailed floor plan, outlining exactly how many smoke alarms were needed per household and precisely where they should be located.

No lives were lost in the making of this exhibition. A lost item doesn’t have to mean a lost life.