Canadian Museum Makes Human Rights Concept Tangible
Visitors to the 47,000-square-foot Canadian Museum for Human Rights travel through multiple galleries via a series of ramps that connect the exhibits into one seamless narrative. The exhibition was designed to transform the abstract concept of human rights into a tangible educational experience.
Visitors first encounter the What Are Human Rights? gallery, an introduction to human rights concepts derived from various religions and cultures expressed through a multisensory experience featuring an 80-foot long theater and a 71-foot long human rights timeline. The adjacent Indigenous Perspectives gallery explores Aboriginal concepts of humanity and social responsibility through commissioned art and a 360-degree film inside a circular, two-story-high “basket” of wood slats.
Next, the Canadian Journeys gallery immerses visitors in a mosaic of Canadian human rights history with 18 interactive exhibits and a 103-foot digital screen. A circular space at the center of the gallery offers an interactive social floor game that promotes inclusivity. The subsequent Protecting Rights in Canada gallery offers an interactive debate table where visitors can explore and vote on pivotal Canadian Supreme Court cases.
The Examining the Holocaust gallery offers personal testimony, evidentiary artifacts and photographs that explore the event through a human rights lens. At the center of the space, a theater composed of glass shards examines Canada’s own experiences with anti-Semitism. The adjacent Turning Points for Humanity gallery focuses on the international community’s response to the Holocaust. Engagements include motion-activated interactives that explore the expansion of grassroots activism.
The Rights Today gallery brings visitors face-to-face with contemporary issues through an interactive media program that compares global human rights data. The exhibition concludes in the Inspiring Change gallery where interactive listening stations allow visitors to hear the soundtrack of human rights over time. From there, visitors can ascend the 23-foot, illuminated Tower of Hope.
Ultimately, four out of five visitors rated the exhibition an inspiration, while over nine in 10 visitors felt it should be seen by as many people as possible.