Responses by Bluecadet
Background: The new cornerstone exhibit River Alive! at Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum educates kids about the science and beauty of the Delaware River Watershed. Partnering with Habitheque, we designed the exhibit’s style guide and environmental graphics, as well as four unique interactive experiences.
Reasoning: Our goal for River Alive! was to make it fun for children to learn about the water right outside the museum’s walls, so every experience we created blends scientific content and playful activity. Our style guide for the exhibit includes a hand painted font and color palette that establish an approachable tone for the exhibit, while each interactive presents kid-friendly ways to engage with the science of the watershed.
Challenges: Distilling complex scientific information into a digestible, fun learning experience for kids. For example, the museum wanted to teach children about what scientists measure in different areas of the watershed to track its health, so we created a multi-user touchscreen that uses engaging activities and interactive animations to explain the science in a kid-friendly way.
Favorite details: The “Continuum Wall,” a contoured wall with a projection of the river that greets visitors when they enter the exhibit. Using interactive sensors, visitors blow, spin and drum to clean the digital waters of a 32-foot long projection of the watershed—and meet the friendly creatures that call it home along the way. We illustrated and animated over forty river creatures to bring the wall to life, and created custom music for it as well.
Specific demands: We had the opportunity to work with scientific subject matter experts—including an amazing team of scientists from Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences—to make sure our experiences were both fun and scientifically sound.
Anything new: We learned about projection blending onto contoured surfaces. It was quite a technical feat requiring both hardware and software solutions.