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Ingenium Canada

Creating a new visitor experience for Canada’s largest collection of Cold War aircraft

A large-scale permanent exhibition for the Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Large museum space with several full-size planes, with exhibit black and red displays with image and text content being viewed by several museum visitors.
Ingenium Canada
Project type
Permanent exhibition
ExpoZone; Oulton + Devine

As the first major permanent exhibition installation at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM), our collaborative team — including Oulton + Devine (3D design) and Expozone (exhibition fabricator and team lead) — embarked on an ambitious year-long project to transform 40,000 square feet of exhibition space into an immersive testament to Canada’s Cold War heritage and the RCAF.

Our exhibit and graphic design concepts drew heavily on the pervasive sense of threat inherent throughout the Cold War-era, taking inspiration from brutalist architecture, Atomic Age graphic styles, and period television broadcasts. Guided by these references, a limited three-colour palette was developed, including a vibrant red that alluded to the Cold War’s heightened alertness and sense of threat.

Working closely with the CASM team, we optimized bilingual content by applying a systematic content-blocking process, helping the writing team strategize, prioritize, and tailor its narratives to fit seamlessly into the exhibition space while optimizing accessibility and visitor experience. This content was complemented by a large selection of artifacts, several interactive elements, large-scale images, custom maps and illustrations, and a monolithic entrance wall of illustrated vintage televisions displaying archived Cold War footage.

The result is a captivating exploration of Canada's Cold War legacy. It invites visitors into five distinct zones that feature glimpses of the past, balanced with a platform for future reflection. Every element of the exhibit engages and inspires audiences of all ages, from an immersive bomb shelter, to a large selection of Avro Arrow relics, to digital tours of DEW Line stations. By immersing visitors in the sights, sounds, and stories of Canada's Cold War era, the exhibition not only educates but also fosters empathy and a deeper understanding of our shared Cold War history.

“We are very excited for visitors to discover the diverse range of stories presented in the new Cold War exhibition. This exhibition creates a greater appreciation for Canada’s aviation heritage and explores the vital role of aviation in the lives of Canadians. It allows visitors to see themselves represented in the stories the Museum tells about the significance of aviation in the growth and prosperity of this country.” (SkiesMag)
Christopher Kitzan
Director General
Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Be beautifully accessible.

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