L’Observatoire International developed two separate lighting schemes for the Museum of Sex, an institution which seeks to, “preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality.” The first instance, an exhibition titled Night Fever: New York Disco 1977–1979, The Bill Bernstein Photographs, explores the city’s historic nightlife as a reflection of its diverse intersectionality. Inspired by the Studio 54-era clubs and bars, L’Observatoire embraced these references in their design for the museum’s accompanying pop-up disco. Foil covered walls, disco balls, and period appropriate furniture are accompanied by subtle, embedded ceiling lighting with back lit panels displaying more exhibition information, striking a balance between the black couches and chrome ornamentation.
The second exhibit, Known/Unknown: Private Obsession and Hidden Desire in Outsider Art, presents several works that are seldom displayed publicly, having been produced by, “artists in the Outsider/Self-Taught/Folk Art countercultures.” In order to effectively light the exhibit, it was necessary to redevelop a majority of the ceiling lighting, along with the cases and displays which previously housed artworks. These changes allowed for a more precise, concentrated lighting system able to accommodate a variety of different works possessing unique display constraints. L’Observatoire’s design for the Known/Unknown allowed for the opportunity to elevate the Museum of Sex’s exhibition potential by providing them with the lighting system they deserve.