Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Canadian Journeys Gallery

Overview of the Canadian Journeys Gallery

Canadian Journeys is the largest gallery in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Our team was involved in the development of 12 of the “story niches” — 8x8x8 exhibit alcoves focused on exploring a human rights issues ranging from democratic rights to language rights. Taken together, these niches explore the progress and setbacks involved in achieving rights for all Canadians.

The niches use different types of interaction and orchestrated content to explore their respective themes. These encompass software-driven physical interfaces, sensor-triggered film projections and audio, interactive screens and controllers, interactive lighting, and touchscreens. The niches deftly fuse the physical environment and digital technology, making software an indispensable yet invisible aspect of the exhibit scenography and experience design.

In light of this unique, digital-physical nature of the niches, a core aspect of design development was the tight integration required between several key players: Upswell, Northshore Productions, Ralph Appelbaum & Associates, Kubik, and the museum’s exhibit and technology team. It was critical that we conduct software prototyping early to surface the potential and limits of exhibit design intent, thereby co-developing and iterating on the concept, while highlighting any new fabrication requirements.

Given the museum’s inclusive design mandate, each niche was developed with accessibility in mind, adding another layer of complexity and opportunity. We had to approach our work with critical physical design, interface design, and content accessibility requirements, including the integration of universal keypads, ASL/LSQ,and text-to-speech as well as considerations such as screen reach, viewing distance, and reading distance.

A mini-museum in its own right, exploring stories of human rights in Canada.

The niches are focused on stories dedicated to a single human rights theme.


  • Canadian Journeys Gallery


  • Winnipeg, Canada


  • 2014