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The International Spy Museum (SPY) opened on May 12, 2019, in Washington, DC. The completely re-imagined museum opened in a new purpose-built 140,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building—more than doubling its original size. Working with the founder for over 20 years, Gallagher & Associates (Silver Spring, Md.) led the creative visioning, business strategy and audience engagement tactics for the original Museum concept, which opened in 2002.
After 16 years and engaging over 9 million visitors, SPY was recognized for pioneering a new breed of self-sustaining, experience-first museums. Building on that same innovative spirit, G&A designed the overall visitor experience including exhibitions, media, retail, lobby and graphics—that, once again, push the boundaries of innovative storytelling and immersive design.
"Our vision for the new SPY invites the audience into a world of intrigue—a personal exploration that immerses visitors into the experience of living their cover," said Cybelle Jones, principal & executive director, G&A. "Through objects, immersion, light, and media, the visitor becomes the subject, and the exhibits become the stage."
Visitors are invited to leave behind their "known identity" before entering the shadowy underground world at SPY, carrying out an "undercover mission" throughout the museum—engaging via RFID to put their spying skills to the test. From asset recruitment and tool selection to analysis and decision making, it’s an exhilarating, fun, personal journey through the intelligence process.
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