Thursday, April 25, 2024

On the Road Exhibit Inspiration

I'm currently on the road in the Bay Area of California, but wanted to give a quick tip of the hat to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco for a super interactive element in their "Color of Life" exhibition.

Sets of colored strings are strung in front of video monitors. When you pluck one (or more) strings, you immediately get a visual burst of colored dots on the screen behind the strings accompanied by some musical tones.  Shortly after that, a graphic with a brief text message shares some interesting information about how the single color (or color combination) you created by twanging the correspondingly-colored string shows up in Nature. 

(See the image below and check out this YouTube video link of my wife playing with the exhibit .)

Frankly, I loved everything about this interactive.  It created an unusual interface with tactile, visual, and auditory feedback.  It was intuitive and inspired experimentation (what if I pluck more than one string simultaneously?)  It offered a phygital (physical+digital) interactive component that actually made sense in the context of the exhibition theme.  It also offered bite-sized and interesting pieces of content, and it was FUN!

What more can you ask for from an interactive museum experience?

So, BRAVO Cal Academy!  If you'd like to find out more about the "Color of Life" exhibition, check out the exhibition webpage and this "Creating a Colorful Exhibit video.

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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