John Sunderland

The curated works of the author & artist

2007 York Minster


Client: York Minster


The Heritage Lottery Bid required an implementable interpretive program for visitors to the Minster. This was a key element in the bid for grant aid.


York Minster, one of the largest and most outstanding Cathedrals in Europe, needed to raise twenty-five million pounds in order to save it’s unique fourteenth century east window, which badly needed conservation. To do this the Minster planned to make a grant aid proposal to the National Heritage Lottery Commission. The Lottery commission required an upgrading of the interpretive services provided for national and international visitors, up to a half a million annually.


Consulting Interpretive Designer. JS was commissioned to research the current situation and conceive of an interpretive scheme for visitors to the Minster which would include exterior and interior architecture and the history of the Minster since its’ earliest structural form and going even further back in time, the roman fortress archaeology discovered beneath the foundations.


Title ‘Making the Unseen Seen’

JS proposed the use of audio-visual handsets (audio wands were in use at the time). The audio visual handsets, which allow for narrative interpretive texts in multiple languages would be augmented with visitor-selected animations and video which would appear on a small screen on the handset. Literally making the unseen multi-layered history of the Minster able to be seen. The project solution was proposed under the title “Making the Unseen Seen.” The bid of which the new interpretive scheme was a required element was accepted by the Lottery Commission and grant aid was awarded.

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