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HUMANITY HOUSE wins Silver at European Design Awards

Lava’s brand for Humanity House wins Silver in the category ‘brand implementation’ at the European Design Awards 2011 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Humanity House was a unique collaboration between designstudio Lava and multidisciplinairy artist Henk Schut.

The brand Humanity House is built with print- and new media, and even includes the complete design of the museum itself. Lava’s approach to identities is unique and elevates brands above the traditional boundaries, one of the reasons why Lava was elected European Design Agency of the Year in 2010. Schut is well known for his work in location theatre and a master in building personal experiences with lots of impact, using all kinds of existing material to phenomenal effect.

The Dutch Red Cross had a vision: to create a museum to tell stories of the relevance of its work and to interact with visitors. What does it mean to have to survive in an area devastated by war or natural disaster? How does it feel, to leave your home, to depend on emergency aid? The Dutch Red Cross commissioned Lava to make this experience tangible by creating a brandbook to assist in finding funding for their museum Humanity House in The Hague.

The brandbook was such a success, the Red Cross also commissioned the website, the launch campaign and last but not least, the complete design of the museum interior and exhibitions for which Lava worked together with Henk Schut.

In order to make the most of the NGO’s budget, they developed smart ideas with maximum impact. Hans Wolbers: “We hate just pasting logo’s on everything. Every item was looked at for relevance and economy. We didn’t want to create pens and usb sticks with the logo, that’s a waste of money. Instead, we stickered emergency water rations with stories of survivors to make the visitors aware of the importance of clean water after a disaster.”

The brand of Humanity House goes all the way back to the roots of story telling: what story do we want to tell, how do we tell it? Hans Wolbers: “Our 20 years experience in editorial design has taught us to think like visual journalists. Telling stories in strong images”. Lava and Schut integrated the worlds of design, theatre and installation art. This approach was unique and brings a breath of fresh air to the world of museums.