Death Is Not the End

Isometric Studio

The suspended, curved LED neon title and the backlit section title panels together create an environment that feels ethereal and uplifting.
The color temperature and light intensity of the section title panels is carefully modulated to match the colors and lighting requirements of the historic objects on display.
The section title treatment remains the same as the gallery wall colors get lighter and lighter, evoking different moods as the visitor progresses.
A special focus in placed on accessibility and ease of reading as the paragraph text and objects are composed alongside the section titles.
The letter-spacing and leading of the exhibition text further elevates the content and creates a sense of transcendence alongside the artwork.

Isometric designed Death Is Not the End, a cross-cultural exhibition at the Rubin Museum of Art that juxtaposes Tibetan Buddhist and Christian perspectives on human impermanence and life after death. Spanning 12 centuries and taking up 3135 sq. ft. on the museum’s top floor, the immersive, ethereal display explores themes of mortality, purgatory, and the afterlife.

A suspended monumental scrim wraps the building’s central staircase, complementing the gallery architecture while rising gradually to form thresholds between themes. The graphic design takes on a gauzy, illuminated character through a main neon title and backlit title panels that demarcate each section. A custom curved neon LED title illuminates the entrance and creates an environemnt that is ethereal and uplifting rather than ominous or heavy. The mood of the gallery—defined through wall color transitions—gradually shifts from pensive and subdued to bright and sublime, making the journey across themes feel hopeful and elevated.

The resulting spaces are further punctuated by freestanding walls with large openings and inset alcoves to frame artworks. Each exhibit section begins with an illuminated title panel, situated on one of the freestanding walls, leading vistors from The Human Condition to States In Between to the Afterlife. Custom casework and displays hold 58 objects, many of which come from renowned institutions from around the world.

Andy Chen
Waqas Jawaid
Architectural Designer
Abhishek Thakkar
Senior Graphic Designer
Paolo Fabbri
Graphic Designer
Ana David
Design Director
Maria Loes
Graphic Designer
Ingrid Schmaedecke
Content Director
Kate McBride
Graphic Design Intern
Madi Ritenburgh
Elena Pakhoutova
Exhibition Fabrication and Installation
South Side Design and Building
Neon Title
Noble Signs
Graphics Production and Install
Full Point Graphics
Project link