Entries are made up of multiple kiosks or a full gallery installation and are interactive and educational.
Jury Chair: Sara De Angelis, Senior Exhibit Developer
Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, California
GOLD: Green Community Interactives
National Building Museum and Potion Design
Judges said: This suite of exhibition activities was an artful combination of content and interaction that seemed to this jury both innovative and fun! The activities built upon each other in a way that was both compelling and coherent. By connecting global environmental impact and local behavior—this submission seems likely to achieve its aim of encouraging visitor’s active participation in a sustainable future. The installation’s interpretive approach seems to stimulate ongoing dialogue among visitors we’ve rarely seen done this successfully. It’s easy to believe that the impact of this experience as well as the content stayed with the visitors long after their visit.
Producers said: The National Building Museum’s Green Community exhibit showcases communities with innovative sustainability efforts. Along these lines, Potion’s interactive pieces provoke visitors to consider sustainability on a personal, global, and community level. The Transportation Hallway features three”traffic lanes”—bicycle, car or bus—projected onto the floor. As visitors traverse a lane, the vehicle moves with them and popups describe that vehicle’s benefits and consequences. Visitors entering the exhibit first encounter the Think Global interactive wall, featuring a slowly spinning globe. Touching an icon beneath the globe triggers a network, like shipping lanes or undersea cables, to appear. Two networks can be displayed together, highlighting the overlap of these global pathways. Finally, the Act Local interactive wall lies at the exhibit’s end. The projected community contains familiar sites – power plant, landfill, industrial district. Touching a site brings up potential improvements, like transforming the power plant into a wind farm or adding recycling stations to the landfill. Visitors can work together to “green” the town. Between the simple interaction of the hallway, the subtle layering of the Think Global wall, and the game-like feedback of the Act Local wall, the interactives offer an engaging experience to children, teen and adult visitors.
For this project, Potion produced the interaction design. Matter served as the exhibit design firm, and management provided art direction.
SILVER: Dynamic Map – The Melbourne Story
Museum Victoria and ENESS
Judges said: This jury appreciated the way that this project paired rich in content with the collective memories of museum visitors. The Melbourne Story presented both public and museum narratives using responsive media rather than a static timeline. Through its artistry and content this wonderful interpretive experience provides visitors with a multilevel experience that is both socially connected and deeply respectful of both the museum’s content and the visitor’s contribution.
Producers said: The Melbourne Story is a new exhibition at Melbourne Museum in Victoria, Australia. Museum Victoria commissioned local company ENESS to create a multimedia centerpiece for the exhibition: to depict Melbourne’s physical growth; reinforce the chronological structure of the surrounding exhibition; and create a dramatic effect for visitors upon entering. Entitled the Dynamic Map, visually it is an assortment of 39 various sized projection plinths that cater for multiple viewers from various vantage points — the major feature being an animated depiction of the growth of Melbourne over some 175 years, surrounded by the “Melbourne’s Biggest Family Album” project, a collection of community-sourced photographs. Both video and stills are grouped into time periods and as eras pass, viewers witness Melbourne’s simultaneous cultural shift and physical growth.
As the map progresses from 1835 to the present day, visitors enjoy seeing their own suburb appear. Furthermore, as they near the installation their presence is detected remotely triggering the photographs to flip and float from the surrounding individual plinths across the sculpture – an ingenious way to ‘populate’ the Dynamic Map with the lives of real Melbournians who have made the city what it is today.
BRONZE: American Museum of Natural History
Biology of the Horse
Judges said: “The Biology of the Horse” ignites visitor’s interests in a compelling and deeply satisfying interpretive experience. The clever use of two technologies combined to create a rich and layered interpretive experience. The interface included a life-size horse projection and the two standing interactive stations. These enabled both a shared social experience and individual inquiry. The simplicity of interfaces and the real-time responsive projected image made this media highly satisfying.
Producers said: In this multi-user interactive users can explore and learn about the way horses see, hear, digest their food, and use their legs. It combines a life-size video projection of a thoroughbred horse and 2 touch screen kiosks that are control panels for the video and entry points to each subject. Users and passive viewers can watch the life size projection and follow along as users interact with each kiosk. Visitors who are familiar with horses and visitors who have never seen one up-close will be powerfully attracted to the life-size projection of a horse in the gallery space. Children in particular will respond to the opportunity to explore and manipulate the animal’s different body parts. Touchscreens provide visitors with the unique opportunity to learn about a horse’s body and discover how different parts of it work through direct manipulation. Their choices affect the rear-projection video; users and passive viewers alike respond to the excitement of a life-size image of a horse in the gallery, as the results of users’ experiments affect the projection of the horse for all to enjoy.
HONORABLE MENTION: National Museum of American History
Star-Spangled Banner Interactive Table and Potion Design; C&G Partners, Original Concept Design; Design Craftsman, General Contractor
Judges said: The impressive theatrical and technical execution of this piece impressed the jury. The media appropriately focuses on the object allowing for viewers to see the flag both at scale and in-detail. The immediate proximity of the artifact with the interactive surface of the projected image is breathtaking. The media never replaces the desire to behold the artifact itself, rather it extends and augments and supports opportunities for discovery.
Producers said: One of the treasures of the newly re-opened National Museum of American History is the original Star-Spangled Banner. Directly across from the flag’s grand showcase, a 15 foot table displays an ultra high-resolution, interactive digital projection of the flag. The table brings visitors closer to the flag, and provides detailed information about its creation and long history. While the physical flag must be kept behind glass in a protected environment, the interactive table allows visitors to see its fibers, holes, and colors up close and at full scale. Visitors can gently push the digital flag to view different sections, and up to ten visitors can interact together. As the flag slowly glides across the table, visitors notice “hotspots” marked on its surface. Each hotspot is associated with a physical property of the flag, such as a star or seam. Touching a hotspot brings up explanatory text and images. One hotspot documents a star that was removed and given away as a souvenir, while another describes how the protective backing was painstakingly applied and later removed by the Museum’s conservators. The interactive flag has proven to be a popular attraction and conversation piece on its own.
For this project, Potion produced the interaction design, Design Craftsmen served as the General Contractor, and C&G Partners provided the original concept design.
Susan Chun, New Media Consortium & Principal at Susan Chun, Cultural Heritage Consultant, New Media Consortium
Corrine Doron, Program Manager, Sony Wonder Technology Lab
Sonal Bhatt, Assistant Director, Interpretive Programs, Wildlife Conservation Society
Jill Fruchter, Independent User Experience Specialist
Wayne LaBar, VP, Exhibitions and Featured Experiences, Liberty Science Center, Liberty State Park
Jonathan E. Finkelstein, Executive Producer, LearningTimes