Project: "Longing for Mecca - The Pilgrim's Journey"
Designer(s): Design Team Kossmann.dejong, Netherlands
Category: Interior Design, Professional
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Entry Description: Kossmann.dejong designed the exhibition Longing for Mecca – The pilgrim’s journey. For one fourth of the world’s population, a visit to Mecca has to be made once in their lifetime.The exhibition takes the visitor on this journey, which involved a step-by-step introduction to the Hajj. Every consecutive space in the exhibition represents a stage in the pilgrim’s journey, and through the use of light, colour, pieces from the collection, film and sound evokes a totally different atmosphere and experience. At the entrance Dutch Muslim share their personal Hajj experiences by way of video portraits one-to-one with the audience. Stimulated by this ‘longing for Mecca’, visitors will receive practical tips for the preparation of the Hajj in the next room. The impressive facts and figures of the Hajj are presented graphically. In the long corridor that follows, photographs and maps visualise the journey, and the different routes and modes of transport pilgrims use to get to the meeting point of Djedda. Through the corridor, which Djedda as its final destination, visitors will reach the white room that represents Mecca. Here the rituals that are part of the Hajj are the focus. Visitors will find themselves surrounded by an impressive projection of masses of people, who execute the ritual of walking around the Ka’ba seven times. The adjoining black, serene space allows the visitors to really experience ‘the feeling of Mecca’. Using authentic pieces of cloth, an impression of the Ka’ba is realised. The subsequent bright room is dedicated to a visit to Medina. The last stage of the pilgrimage is all about the collection of souvenirs, represented in the exhibition as a colourful bazar, where personal Hajj memorabilia of Muslims have found a place. The exhibition was previously on show at the British Museum, but is redesigned for a Dutch audience.

About the Designer/Company
Kossmann.dejong, exhibition architects, is an Amsterdam-based design agency that focuses on exhibition and interior architecture. The agency was founded in 1998 by Herman Kossmann (1958) and Mark de Jong (1960), both graduated in architecture at the Technical University in Delft. Kossmann.dejong has grown into an agency with around 25 employees. A connection between content and imagination is what characterises Kossmann.dejong´s design approach. It manages to do this while making complex design issues accessible to a broad audience and to transform them into intrinsic experiences. The agency combines a range of disciplines and media that enable it to tell spatial stories. Film, lighting and sound are indispensable media in generating experiences. The subjects of their exhibitions range from architecture, history of psychiatry, art for teenagers and micro-organisms. Currently Kossmann.dejong is, among other projects, working on four museums for a cultural park in Taipei (Taiwan), the Coral Triangle Center in Bali (Indonesia), the Historisches Museum Frankfurt (Germany), microZOO for Artis (NL), the new National Military Museum in Soesterberg (NL) as well as an exhibition for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon (UK). Most recent projects are the photo exhibition ‘Jimmy Nelson- Hail the People’ for the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde Leiden (NL), the ‘Wonder Rooms’ for the Gemeentemuseum The Hague (NL) and the permanent exhibition for the Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingor (Denmark).