Design motifs of redaction, declassification, and crime scene investigation are central visual components of this special exhibition, featuring never-before-seen FBI and CIA documentation about the decade-long pursuit of the perpetrator if the 9/11 attacks. The exhibition was designed as a crime story, albeit a horrific one at a huge scale. Similar to a police procedural, it is a story of driven professionals who unite to pursue clues and seek justice.
The exhibition uses physical space as a storytelling medium, creating a sense of place, time, and plot to amplify the museum experience. To do this, the project borrows visual techniques from a range of sources. The exhibit is built of tall angled “shards” of raw plywood, no two alike, which can be assembled to evoke a mountain canyon, military field office or residential compound. The shards hold objects, media, and text. Evidence markers from a crime scene investigation inform the color and typography of the show.
The idea of declassified information inspires the use of redaction as a graphic motif throughout the exhibition. The show’s strong media presence comes in surprising shapes and forms as well: media you can look down at, projections near architectural scale-models, and panoramas of forbidding mountain ranges. A top-down projection foregrounds a key exhibition artifact: a scale-model used to plan the raid that brought bin Laden to justice. Media for this project was produced by Batwin + Robin.