The world’s first fully digital museum
Imagine a museum with no objects. A museum in Ireland that tells the story of 70 million people, none of whom live in Ireland. A museum that moves between joy and grief, pride and power; where saints and sinners share the same stage. This is EPIC Ireland, the world’s first fully digital museum. With no objects, it uses cutting-edge technology to tell a story of identity, journey and homecoming for the Irish diaspora.
Housed in the vaults of an 19th-century barrel-vaulted, stone-walled and cast-iron structure, the experience spans 21 galleries, each offering a new and surprising angle on the diaspora. We delivered this project in just 18 months. It has since gone on to win multiple awards and transform Dublin’s tourist scene.
Research took us from Canadian religious orders to Mongolian Irish pubs
EPIC Ireland is remarkable for its depth of content research. Working with subject experts, social media and academic networks, we tracked down the most powerful stories that connect people across time and place. Our research took us around the world, from Emirati sports clubs to Argentinian genealogical websites, Canadian religious orders to a Mongolian Irish pub.
But what really makes the museum stand out is its concoction of immersive installations, interactive games and larger-than-life multimedia shows. Each interactive offers something new and has its own mode of engagement mirroring the gallery’s theme – meet Billy the Kid in a life-size line up of Ireland’s most notorious emigrants, hear the pages of Bram Stoker’s Dracula whispering in your ear, play at a games table with some of Ireland’s most famous sports stars.
The digital experience extends far beyond the vaults’ walls.
At the start of your journey, you are given a virtual passport which is stamped at each vault you visit. At the final vault, where you learn about the diaspora today, your passport unlocks personalised content and allows you to send a virtual postcard which then shoots off, pinging around the vault’s walls. Social media feeds are projected around the walls, telling stories from Irish people today.
The museum’s growing collection is stored in the cloud, rather than on shelves or behind glass cases. The digital media are easily updateable, meaning that as new content comes in, the museum team can easily update the stories.
European Museum of the Year 2018
Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction, World Travel Awards 2019
Best Entrepreneurial Tourism Innovation Award, Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2019