The British Music Experience

The British Music Experience is a museum-scale experience in the O2 Dome in Greenwich, London, UK leading visitors through the interactive experience of British popular music from the end of World War II to today.

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The brief of this first exploratory phase of the project for the design was to truly incorporate music into the spatial experience. The other unspoken brief as I took it was to avoid at all costs just having rooms and rooms full of guitars behind glass cases. To avoid this dead (and fairly typical) experience, we would have to do a lot more. To create the journey or the narrative of popular British music was one thing, but we wanted to add another layer on top of it, namely the visitor’s musical history.

The result is a design for a really innovative spatial experience with music, one that starts on your iPod on the way to work, takes you to the museum and then finally continuing the experience online.

The exhibit would track visitors throughout the museum, and not only acting a whole lot like a spatial LastFM in that it tracks what music you’re looking at as well as listening to in the space, but it would work with LastFM as well. Your musical profile, which if you were a LastFM user, would already be able to tell the exhibit what you like and more importantly, where it sat in context. Lets say by the amount of tracked listens, Led Zeppelin were your favourite band. In one room it might show you automatically the roots of Led Zeppelin in old American blues, and in another room show you a band they in turn influenced.