These days, it seems it’s not so uncommon to see a team member leaving the office mid-afternoon with a piece of luggage rolling behind them. With projects in cities all around the world, travelling has become a big part of our work. One place that we’ve become quite acquainted with is the beautiful and fascinating city of Anchorage in southcentral Alaska.
We’ve come to find that Anchorage is an incredibly multicultural and unique place with an identity all its own. In fact, since 2014, we've made 10 trips to this northern city. What brings us there? An exciting project we’re currently working on with the team over at the Anchorage Museum. The Alaska Gallery is going through a complete re-visioning and we’re on board to design and produce the new permanent exhibition exploring Alaska’s evolving identity.
Content Director on the project Jeremy Taylor has had the chance to visit Anchorage on multiple occasions. For him, the challenge of illustrating Alaska’s ever changing identity is an exciting one; in part because he’s been able to experience first-hand the surreal energy that inhabits this place. On a past trip, the immensity of the landscape and the strong role it plays in the lives of Alaskans became so evident when he had the chance to visit a small port town called Whittier. Everyone told him not to go, but he was intrigued by the fact that there was only one way there: through a single-lane tunnel spewing smoke that took you through the mountain to the other side. Once a secret naval base during the Cold War, today Whittier is a sleepy isolated town, with the majority of its 200 residents living in a former army barracks resembling a hotel. Many of the town’s buildings are abandoned, relics from the cold war era. For Jeremy, experiences like this one leave him feeling out of his element, recognizing the uniqueness that is Alaska - a place where landscape and people are so intrinsically linked.
**So What's Next? **
As we approach the end of the design process, we're making plans to send a team out to Anchorage this summer. Our media content team will be busy digging through archival footage with the Museum’s curator, conservationists and project managers. We’ll also be heading out into the field to meet with communities and speak directly with Alaskans, gathering stories for a series of films presented throughout the exhibition. Stay tuned for updates from Alaska.