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The Horniman Museum

Interaction Designer and Video Producer
Ralph Appelbaum Associates UK
2000 – 2002


The Frederick Horniman Museum in South London is home to one of the most important collections of musical instruments in Europe. Over 1600 of their finest pieces are installed in the World Music Gallery, designed by the London branch of Ralph Appelbaum Associates.

I joined RAA after graduating from the Royal College of Art to develop the interactive exhibits for this gallery. The design took the form of three tables facing a stunning hundred-foot long display case, holding almost a thousand musical instruments.

We provided each table a large display using ceiling mounted video projectors. Each screen shows a map of the instruments displayed in the adjacent section of wall. Visitors scan the collection using buttons set into the table.

Over a decade has passed since these tables were installed, yet this exhibit is still in use, enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. The projectors have been replaced and the computers upgraded, but the tables continue to tell their stories, connecting the sounds of past performances with the collection on display.

Horniman Museum : ‘Musical Generations’ video

I also produced and edited three gently paced films expressing the ‘hands on’ quality of making music. Each silent film focused on a particular age range; starting with infants and children on one screen, moving to adults on another, with close-ups of senior players in the last projection.