Lakeside Arts
Part of University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts

Dinosaurs of China exhibition at Wollaton Hall and Lakeside

Dinosaurs of China

Dr Wang Qi
Associate Professor in Architecture, Course Director of MArch Design, Faculty of Engineering

Led by Dr Wang Qi, Dinosaurs of China: Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers was a partnership project between Lakeside, Nottingham City Council, the University of Nottingham, the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing and the Long Hao Institute of Geology and Paleontology in Inner Mongolia which resulted in a world exclusive exhibition in Nottingham 2017. The exhibition displayed 26 dinosaur skeletons and fossils including some of the most significant fossils globally depicting the story of feathered dinosaurs; how dinosaurs evolved into the birds that live amongst us today. 

The exhibition opened in the summer of 2017, attracting a record 130,000-plus visitors to the Wollaton Hall; city council-owned venue and envy from the global community of palaeontologists. The exhibition adopted a new narrative-led approach to museum design informed by Dr Wang Qi’s research and challenged traditional chronological layout of museums. The exhibition attracted visitors locally, nationally and internationally, with 75 schools visiting and taking part in activities designed to inspire an interest in science and scientific research. The accompanying engagement programme, which included science lectures and Q&A sessions, saw 28,000 people take part.

Dr Wang Qi’s research, which first began in 2009 with the Natural History Museum, was based on the hypothesis that architectural space and exhibition narrative (storytelling), when combined, can provide an enhanced visitor and learning experience. This gave rise to a case study on the linguistics and architecture of the Natural History Museum, and it enabled him to set up research links with the Palaeozoological Museum of China (PMC) and the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology (IVPP) of China.

Quotation mark
Landing an exhibition called Dinosaurs of China is possibly the greatest achievement for an English natural history museum – a prize many bigger and more successful ones will be eyeing with envy… Nottingham 1, the rest of the world 0."
New Scientist Magazine


June 2018 – Dinosaurs of China was a finalist in the Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year category of the THELMAS, Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards.

Spring 2018 – the exhibition was runner-up in the final of the Guardian University Awards’ Internationalisation category.

June 2018 – Dinosaurs of China: Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers was a finalist in a prestigious UK award for knowledge transfer.


Media coverage reached 45 million people.

Quotation mark
This major event must be considered a triumph… [and is] a model other museums should look at."
Arts Council England

Take a 3D tour of the exhibition

Find out More: Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group