Case Study


Mine exhibition at MONA brings a giant board game into the gallery to teach visitors about data mining and data collection. According to the Economist, DATA is the world's most valuable resource.

  • Client: MONA
  • Date: July 2019

Mine 2019, installation at Mona. Photo credit: Jesse Hunniford, Mona. Image courtesy Mona, Hobart.

Eight months prior to the opening Think Big was approached by Mona to assist in the production and installation of a unique exhibition based around data mining.

The exhibition is designed to look and feel like a giant board game. The main gallery floor features a wall-to-wall floor graphic that is a reproduction of the 60s-era Australian board game Squatter, an Antipodean version of Monopoly but with sheep farmers instead of property investors.

On the board game sit giant game pieces modelled after contemporary mining machinery.

The game pieces, point-of-sale stands and large graphic panels are constructed from X-Board which is a lightweight natural fibre-based composite cardboard consisting of a recycled kraft core sandwiched between printable white liners. This 100% recyclable, ultra-lightweight, strong and non-toxic board prints beautifully on UV flatbed printers and can be used to make sturdy structures such as point of sale displays and furniture.

The X-Board panels were produced in-house at Think Big with our Oce flatbed printer and Zund flatbed cutter to create the custom POS stands that hold the actual Extractor board game as well as the large graphic panels attached to their sides. Think Big's advanced printing and finishing equipment, plus the knowledge and experience of our staff gave the curators and artist great scope to create completely unique designs.

In total over 450 sheets of X-Board used to create the stands and graphic panels which were then flat packed, shipped to MONA and assembled on site by their exhibition team.

The giant floor graphic had it's own challenges due to it's size at over 500m2. The artwork required massive design files which then had to be broken down into smaller sections for printing and and laminating and then assembled on site at installation to create one large image. The graphic is produced using 3M vinyl and 3M non slip laminate and is designed to meet the high wear and tear for the large volume of visitors.

Also included in the scope was a variety of wall graphics including the Title wall and a large schematic-style diagram for the next generation of the smart device: Amazon's Echo, the equivalent of Google's voice-activated virtual assistant Alexa. The diagram, is a holistic map of what is needed to make and run an Echo — from mining of natural resources to manufacturing and distribution; the whole granular gamut.

A small but challenging aspect of this exhibition was the production of the augmented reality (AR) markers which were required to be scanned by Mona's "O device". This required many prototypes to ensure it easily be scanned under various lighting conditions throughout the exhibition.

Although collaboration and design started many months prior, in the end Think Big was able to produce and deliver all the X-Board components, produce and install the floor and wall graphics to meet the tight deadline to allow for the remainder of the exhibition to be set up in time for the opening.

We think David is very happy.

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