sound, light, and image – new concepts

As we all know, there are constant technological and creative leaps being taken that impact and add to the palette of materials, techniques and approaches that can be applied to experience planning and design. This week we have run across three examples that have gotten us thinking and brainstorming how they might be applied.


The first is an installation called Contact, created by Felix Faire as a research project at the Interactive Architecture Lab – Bartlett School of Architecture and now on display at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in the exhibition Sensing Spaces.




What Felix has done is create a way to make any hard surface into an interface. Certainly this piece will find its way into more museums but perhaps even more interesting is the idea of using this technique to make any surface a controller. In a museum setting, this might be a graphic panel, a piece of exhibition armature, or a vitrine. What is interesting is thinking about removing the need or ubiquity of the physical “interactive” control or screen.

You can watch a vidoe of how Contact was made here.

The second example is a new lighting system from Codha called Crypsis. Take a look.




Using a system like this would certainly alter significantly the way we may light artifacts and other items in display cases. In fact, this is the first way this system will be tested. In addition, this offers a unique opportunity for museums to have visitors experiment with light and could also be incorporated into physics exhibits or even maker spaces.

The final interesting piece is the mirror fence concept by  Alyson Shotz.




Simple in its execution and an interesting work of art, the concept of the mirror fence seems like it could be useful in any situation where you need to create a separation of space but you don’t want that operation to be detectible from a visitor’s perspective. For us, zoo enclosures came to mind immediately. Where could use imagine using a mirror fence?

We’d love to hear from you about what ideas these examples sparked for you.



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Hidden Messages

One element of our exhibition field that is often forgotten as a potential interactive or spark for exploration and inquiry is two-dimension graphics. This is unfortunate, as graphics, when used in imaginative ways, can make for striking or inspirational ideas. Here are two examples.

The first is a work by the artist Geert Mul called Exponential View.





This piece, which is in the Netherlands, reveals and makes visible a series of images related to the location of the tunnel, which is where the Dutch scientist and astronomer Christiaan Huygens lived. The fact that he proposed the wave theory of light makes it apropos that different wavelengths of light are used to create this experience. Certainly this idea could be used in smaller and more distributed ways.

The second example comes from members of the Home Depot Community – Nathan Sharratt and Dana0814.

















These images show some of the interesting effects that can be made by using NeverWet, a spray that repels water.

Imagine using this effect in a water table area or a fountain. All it would take is one visitor to discover the first hidden message and then use water to find others. (This, of course, might make a mess, but, wow, talk about inspiring exploration!)

These two examples show different ways graphics can be used to create engagement and inspire visitor exploration.

What interesting examples have you seen? What new ideas do you have for how technology can make graphics more interesting and memorable?

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