Chaldean Cultural Center
Rebuilding a Resilient History Almost Lost to Millennia of Wars
With a culture that can be traced back more than 5,500 years to Mesopotamia, the Chaldean Cultural Center aims to share the proud history of Chaldean people and their accomplishments, as well as the devastating effects of the persecution and exile they have faced over five millennia.
Visitors are led through five areas of the museum as they hear the stories of Catholics living in what is now modern-day Iraq, feel the emotions that they felt fleeing from their homelands, and ultimately celebrate the successes of maintaining their culture and community in new homes today.
The cultural center strove for a personal, emotional connection with each visitor. Through immersive environments, visitors can touch reproductions of important artifacts and connect with a one-of-a-kind collection of cherished personal objects donated by modern Chaldeans. The preservation and display of these artifacts form personal connections between a historic culture and the experiences of modern Chaldeans.
What We Built
LF Studios built the exhibits for the entire museum, including scenic dioramas, artifact cases, graphics, media and interactive stations, architectural lighting, a central control system, and – central to completely immersing into the Chaldean story – artifact reproductions.
With only written descriptions of some artifacts lost to time, LF Studios researched ancient sculpting and construction techniques to fully understand how each artifact would look in the proper material. This process forced the abandonment of modern technological and aesthetic “shortcuts” and brought a level of authenticity to the reproductions that may not have otherwise existed.
Using our knowledge of modern materials and finishing techniques, the LF Studios team fabricated historically accurate reproductions of building sections and artifacts. When traditional materials proved to still be the best way to reproduce an artifact, we stayed true to original materials – such as the reproduction of the Goddess of Vegetation, which we hand-carved in real limestone to preserve its authentic appearance.
Each unique recreation served as a dive into the culture and allowed for visitors to absorb the stories behind each piece. We made our artifact reproductions accessible in three distinct ways: recreating artifacts lost to history, reproducing artifacts that were preserved in other collections, and restoring a tactile interaction between artifacts and visitors.
Some visitors learn through touching and feeling every detail of a piece, whether they are visually impaired or connect strongly with tactile interactions. By removing barriers between the content and visitors, the Chaldean Cultural Center encourages visitors to learn their own way.
The Chaldean Cultural Center presents its stories and content in ways that find emotional connections to visitors in a variety of ways. Physically accessible artifact reproductions, the presentation of cherished everyday items donated by modern-day Chaldeans, and stories told through dioramas, interactive stations, and media and lighting effects all work together to leave an imprint on visitors.