Near the city of Lijiang, the Yangtze undertakes an abrupt U-turn, as it encounters an impenetrable wall of limestone, the so-called ‘first bend’ – had the river not met this barrier and instead continued its journey southward, the course of Chinese history would have been very different.
Millennia later, and several hundred miles downstream, the engineering marvel that is the Three Gorges dam, marks another turning point in Chinese history!
‘Energy’ lies at the heart of the Three Gorges story, inspiring us to consider how we could turn the potential energy of the engineering story into a kinetic energy that would spark visitors’ imaginations. One of the biggest barriers to achieving this was the highly technical, political and information-dense aspects of the story.
We had to work hard to get the balance right between information and entertainment – thinking about pacing emotional and intellectual aspects of the visitor journey throughout the galleries to achieve a balance of deeply experiential spaces and more information-rich areas in which visitors are able to ‘delve deeper’.