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Interactive Annual 15:
information design

GRAMMY Museum Interactives

Launch Movie

“A wonderful mix of audio, video and user interaction that allows visitors to learn, investigate and play.” —Edward J. Heinz Jr.

“An amazing amount of great work! There is a richness in the various interfaces and experiences that encourage interaction. What a great way to tell stories of music.” —Michelangelo Capraro

Overview: The GRAMMY Museum is a one-of-a-kind, 30,000-square-foot museum with interactive, permanent and traveling exhibits. These three experiences (Music Epicenters, In the Studio and the Music Genre Table) developed for the museum were part of an overall focus to use multimedia and interactive activities to highlight the dynamic and creative aspects of music-making. The museum’s focus on music education is particularly strong and these projects bring as much content as possible to visitors’ fingertips; they also bring awareness to the historical aspects of music and the innovation, creativity and technical skill that music makers possess.

  • • The Music Epicenters interactive contains over 200 images, 8 historical videos and more than 200 songs.
  • • An In the Studio rapping activity was featured on the E! Network during the 50th annual GRAMMY Awards show.
  • • The entire Music Genre Table experience, including animations, is programmed in Flash with additional C# programming to bridge the ViP Interactive Foil technology.

Comments by Christian Bannister, Kieran Lynn and Martin Linde

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “Interaction design is full of typical scenarios that present themselves as the obvious solution to problems, but sometimes you have to step back and rethink your whole approach to make something engaging for your audience.

“For Music Epicenters, the most challenging aspect was the development of a system for tying images and videos together in an interesting way without hiding content. For the Genre Table, it was bringing form to the piece, with all its content, an unconventional format and the uncertain specifications of the physical design (a nineteen-foot table using projectors and interactive foil for the touch interface). For the In the Studio activities, we had to come up with a solution that would allow us to create visual variation, while still allowing the developers to use a uniform code base to generate all the twenty-plus audio tools needed.

“We narrowed down functional requirements by doing extensive wireframing and layouts based on the initial storyboards for each of the activities. After distilling the interactive elements down to basically knobs, sliders, buttons and led readouts, we decided to ‘skin’ the same basic tools in three different styles to accommodate the varied styles of the featured producers. Although there were a few components/tools that required a more tailored design solution, outside of the basic functionality on which they were based, all of the design was made to feel real, in the sense that it was modeled after the looks of current audio tools, both physical and software-based.”


Billy Altman/Ken Viste, writers
Brad Johnson, creative director
Thomas Wester, technology director
Matt Arnold, engineer
Jeremy Brown/Vance Feldman/Matt Gitchell/Oliver McGinnis, programmers
David Brewer, database programmer
Christian Bannister/Martin Linde/Kieran Lynn, designers
Jamal Qutub, online editor
Melissa Blazek, editor
Alberto Cerriteno/Tim Kviz/Martin Linde/Carlos Maya/Jamal Qutub, motion graphics
Audio Wells, sound design
Amber Cartwright/Erica Dillon/Lynne Sheridan, AEG/GRAMMY Museum, producers
Julie Beeler, executive producer
Subtractive, digital video producer
Rebecca Rosen, production artist
Elizabeth Bourke/Nina Pavlich/Stacie Takaoka, AEG/GRAMMY Museum, production
Elizabeth Bourke, quality assurance
Ken Viste, AEG/GRAMMY Museum, curator
Gallagher & Associates, exhibition developer
Bob Santelli, AEG/GRAMMY Museum, executive director
Second Story Interactive Studios (Portland, OR), project design and development
AEG/GRAMMY Museum, client