Under the bright light of the North Star, where meridians meet and time zones come to an end – this is where the Arctic begins. Home to four million people who have for thousands of years lived with the ice. The Nordic Museum’s Great Hall has been given over to the life and changing conditions of the Arctic region. In The Arctic – While the Ice Is Melting, visitors encounter the history and future of the ice, and the people that live in one of the regions of the world where climate change is most noticeable.
▼大厅的上层空间，the upper floor of the hall © Hendrik Zeitler
Award-winning designers Sofia Hedman and Serge Martynov of MUSEEA designed this grand exhibition. Occupying over 2,000 square meters, the exhibition is a result of a close collaboration between the Nordic Museum, 40 researchers and experts from around the polar area and the exhibition designers. “This is one of the most important exhibitions that we have designed”, says Sofia Hedman. “Climate change is a critical issue that concerns us all. With our design, we want the visitor to have a powerful and immersive experience, but at the same time feel that we must all come together and act now.”
▼博物馆大厅，museum hall © Hendrik Zeitler
The exhibition design concept centres on cracks
Cracks affect the Arctic in many ways. As temperatures rise, ice melts, and cracks occur. Cracks cause huge icebergs to break loose. Cracks cause houses to deteriorate and animals to struggle to find food. Cracks also have a symbolic meaning. They arise in nature between people and traditions. The visitor is met by a monumental block of ice that periodically calves. It is split by a giant crack, through which, visitors can follow the meltwater into the exhibition.
▼巨型冰块展厅，giant ice exhibition hall © Hendrik Zeitler
Cracks in the ice
▼裂缝展厅入口，crack gallery entrance © Hendrik Zeitler
Inside the ice block, the visitor experiences the Arctic. Objects, accounts, films, slideshows, webcams and art weave together present and past, science and mythology, into a poetic and multifaceted story about the history and future of ice and the everyday lives of the people in the Arctic. The exhibition is driven forward by endless and highly inventive ways to survive in the extreme climate.
▼数字展览部分，digital exhibition part © Hendrik Zeitler
▼讲述北极历史与未来的媒介，medium for telling the history and future of the arctic © Hendrik Zeitler
The visitor moves from hard white ice, gradually transforming into light green and blue meltwater and eventually melting entirely into the dark deep blue sea. Cracks occur between traditional and modern life. It impossible to reach the ice roads, people must find new ways. Instead of walking, or using sleighs and scooters, boats and helicopters become increasingly common.
▼从白色展厅过渡到浅蓝色展厅，from the white exhibition hall to the light blue exhibition hall © Hendrik Zeitler
▼从浅蓝色展厅看向浅绿色区域，from the light blue exhibition hall to the light green area © Hendrik Zeitler
▼交通工具的演变，the evolution of transportation © Hendrik Zeitler
▼展品船只，the exhibits ships © Hendrik Zeitler
▼代表冰块完全融化后的深蓝海洋区域，it represents the deep blue ocean after the ice has completely melted © Hendrik Zeitler
Cracks in the home
Due to climate change, people find it increasingly difficult to live in static houses made of wood or concrete. Here, traditional tents can be seen as more stable as the thawing permafrost can cause the soil to crack and ground to give way. In the Arctic, wood has historically been a very precious material as it could only be obtained as driftwood or imported from abroad. Large textiles characterise the tent areas. Here, inspiration comes from the round forms of the Arctic tents. In contrast, the section of the exhibition with static houses is built of wood and is inspired by the triangular rooflines in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Siberia.
▼以大型纺织品为特色的帐篷区以及由木头建造的静态房屋，tent areas featuring large textiles and static houses made of wood © Hendrik Zeitler
Cracks between people and the environment
Cracks arise in how people relate to resources and the environment. Between the small-scale more circular way of life, where everything is valued and there is very little waste, and the large-scale industrial methods of extracting natural resources. The gallery is constructed using organic materials such as hay to resonate with the small-scale way of life. It is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials. In the last part of the exhibition, which concerns large-scale resource extraction, the visitor enters a section of a huge oil pipe. When the ice melts, people can reach previously inaccessible natural resources. A crack exists between those who protect the environment and those who want to exploit it for financial gain.
▼石油管道展厅，oil pipeline exhibition hall © Hendrik Zeitler
▼代表着人与环境关系的展品，exhibits representing the relationship between man and the environment © Hendrik Zeitler
At the same time, cracks can bring about a tremendous positive force. Cracks cannot be ignored. They can make people listen and communicate, regardless of their origin or history. People can work together and heal cracks, and together, succeed in creating a new life, with new solutions.
▼博物馆大厅天顶细部，details of the ceiling of the museum hall © Hendrik Zeitler