The Textile Museum of Sweden is located in Borås; the textile centre of Sweden. Visitors can learn about the history of the Swedish textile industry and experience textile in all its aspects; from art, design and fashion to innovation.
Illuminated by 52 R-2 rail lights from SGM, a new permanent exhibition called ‘Textile Power’ opened its doors to the public in late March 2016. The theme of the exhibition revolves around the textile industry’s great impact on Sweden’s history, and visitors engage in a story extending from the societal transformation of industrialisation to today’s innovation environments.
The secrets of successful exhibition designs
Building an authentic and successful exhibition is a multi-disciplined process, where lighting is an essential part. Niklas Jurander, Lighting Designer at LightXpose, was brought in during the initial stages of the project to work with the exhibition designers and story developers to ensure the correct lighting solution for the exhibition. Jurander recommended the R-2 rail lights from SGM due to their dynamic qualities and their aesthetic appearance. Jurander said:
“I needed powerful and controllable fixtures but at the same time, I needed them to not dominate the displays. The ease-of-use, the sleek design and the compact footprint of the R-2’s makes them ideal for this type of installation.”
The overall guideline for the entire project was to create an engaging visitor experience and it was clear that lighting would play a key role in achieving the desired result. Johanna Engman, Industrial Curator at the Textile Museum, said:
“We wanted the lighting to enhance and intensify the exhibition to add that extra dimension and set the different moods to the various themes of the exhibition.”
Adding a touch of magic and drama
Jurander and the team worked closely together to support the narrative of the exhibition. Textile Power is an exhibition of the textile industry's significance and multiple sides and the visitors are presented with issues concerning for instance clothing consumption and the environmental impact of the textile industry.
The heart of the exhibition is a room staged like a factory. Here, the process of transforming cotton fibres into finished fabric is shown on the old textile machines. The pounding noise of the machines and the smell of oil is present throughout the room. People’s work, their lives and struggles for better conditions – both in the past and present – are central to the narrative.
The R-2 lights were used primarily to bring extra magic to the machines. Jurander explained: “The old machines are beautiful – almost like sculptures with fascinating details like metal cogwheels. I used the R-2 lights to accentuate the colors of each machine to highlight its uniqueness. I made subtle color changes to make it more interesting to the eye.”
The exhibition has become a story of success for the Textile Museum of Sweden. Engman concluded:
“Niklas has done a fantastic job with the lighting side of the exhibition. The R-2 rail lights really brought out the character of the machines and enhanced their individual expression. The lighting simply takes the exhibition to another level.”
Learn more about the Swedish Textile Museum.
Photography: Jan Berg, The Textile Museum of Sweden