PROJECT: Pembroke Training and Readiness Center Exhibition
CLIENT: New Hampshire National Guard
New Hampshire National Guard Engages Today’s Citizen-Soldiers with Epic Stories of Yesterday’s Service Members
The NH National Guard had a perfect opportunity to engage their members by telling the stories of service from the Guard’s earliest days. Image 4 was chosen to conceive and deliver this amazing project.
The New Hampshire National Guard is America’s second-oldest military unit. Since 1623, New Hampshire citizen-soldiers have served their communities and country with tremendous capability and honor. To tell this incredible story of service, in 2018, the New Hampshire National Guard commissioned Image 4 for a 2-year project to design and build an exhibition space for their brand-new training facility.
Rather than produce a typical “history wall” or timeline, Image 4 planned to personalize the exhibit by telling the rich history of the Guard through stories of individual soldiers. This way, every soldier who walks through the space today can “see” him/herself in the amazing stories of their every-day Citizen-soldier predecessors.
This project drew on all of our expertise, touching every department of our company and utilizing almost every service we offer: theme and storyline development, digital content and programming, photography and artifact preservation, physical design of the space and visual elements, fabrication, and total installation of the exhibit. The full 20-person team for this project included writers, artists, archivists, craftspeople, and several military historians.
The Image 4 team spent weeks in the NH National Guard archives and other archives, searching through artifacts, poring over historical documents on-line and in-hand, and finding unexpected treasures. As part of the process, we interviewed dozens of current and retired Guardsmen and women. Through this extensive research, we discovered and were able to present profound and long-forgotten stories of individual Citizen Soldiers.
From concept to execution, we produced a meticulously fabricated, museum-grade exhibit. The space features the stories of over fifteen Citizen Soldiers from 1623 to today. Many other stories are told through the use of eight interactive iPad kiosks. Each story panel covers a particular era in the Guard’s history, featuring vivid imagery – including stunning photographs from the Guard archives – and vitrines holding precious artifacts representative of each time period. The photos and artifacts provide a physical representation of the stories, creating a visceral connection from yesterday to today’s soldier.
The NH National Guard was delighted with the outcomes. Many former Guardsmen have come forward offering their stories and memorabilia, which will be integrated in a Phase 2 of the project. Additionally, the design theme has been ported into the Environmental Design of the Guard’s NH Recruiting offices, which Image 4 is developing now through 2022.