David Livingstone Birthplace

National Trust for Scotland
Art direction Exhibition graphics

David Livingstone Birthplace re-evaluates the history and legacy of one of the most famous men of the British Empire. In collaboration with Event Communications, we created a new visitor experience in the former cotton mill where Livingstone grew up.

Our design invites visitors to follow a red thread through the museum, evoking the mill but also the many threads of history. The red thread goes from Livingstone’s childhood through his expeditions and to his death. In addition to this thread, we also produced one-line illustrations depicting key events and characters of Livingstone’s story. These illustrations create a layered interpretation inclusive of visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

Once Livingstone embarks on his expeditions, visitors can feel a change of pace in the space. Colours become more vibrant, with rich landscapes wrapping the visitors in immersive environments . With many interactives along the journey, visitors can participate and question Livingstone’s discoveries and legacy. The museum gives people an opportunity to discuss the myths behind the man and highlight the other key members of his team, essential to the success of his endeavours.

David Livingstone Birthplace was highly commended for the permanent exhibition by Museums + Heritage Awards in 2022.