Connections, Western Australian Museum


Project Commenced: April 2017
Project Completed: April 2019
Floor Area: 800 – 1000sqm per gallery

Thylacine’s role

  • design management
  • interpretive design
  • graphic design
  • media design
  • lighting design


Museums and Galleries National Awards 2021
Best Permanent Exhibition (level 4 budget)

Australian Interior Design Awards 2021
Best of State Western Australia

DNA Paris Design Awards 2021
Winner Interior/Civic design

Dezeen Awards 2021
Longlist Exhibition Design


‘Connections’ aligns with the ‘Exploring the World’ theme, with its future-focused, local-to-global and global-to-local approach. Through personal stories and multiple perspectives, ‘Connections’ explores Western Australia’s many and diverse national and international linkages. As such, this gallery thematically connects to all the others. The presence and role of the Indian Ocean, and the impact of global events told through individual and community perspectives, has additional affinity with the approaches taken in ’Origins’ and ‘Ngalang Koort Boodja Wirn’.

The design responds directly to the scale and breadth of the themes of this gallery. The magnitude of the ideas behind the themes of ‘Indian Ocean World’ and ‘Global Systems’ are expressed in a single uninterrupted central space, incorporating a cinema-scale projection screen and huge wall showcase. For the intimate, complex, human scale and detailed stories of the ‘Arrivals’ and ‘Our Place in the World’ themes, the design created discrete and more complex spaces to articulate a multiplicity of individual stories.

An intricate network of sightlines provides visitors with views and vistas across the gallery spaces in a physical manifestation of the connections between all of the themes, while the city view section provides panoramic views of Perth enhanced by interactives and interpretive experiences.

The design employs a minimalist aesthetic and uses intermediate structures judiciously so that it becomes a mere container and support for the content. Rather than creating a linear or prescribed pathway, the design invites visitors to move freely from and between themes.

Client The Western Australian Museum and their stakeholders. Project partners iredale pedersen hook architects, media designers Mental Media and Eye Candy and lighting designer Illuminated Design.

Photography by Peter Bennetts