The Adler Planetarium in Chicago is America’s first planetarium and museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. When visitors come to see the main show, they enter through the Welcome Gallery - an immersive space articulated by undulating forms layered with interactive projections.
The project challenge was to design an experience that would entertain guests as they moved through the gallery. The installations needed to be fun and easily accessible, while conveying inspiring stories about the science and adventure of space travel.
The project also required close coordination with the exhibit architects, so our interactive installations felt part of a unified concept.
Our creative team produced 4 installations that each represent a space related occupation. Guests could learn what it means to be an astronomer, astronaut, engineer or theoretician.
Visitors interact with the projections using their shadows, helping guide an astronaut to the International Space Station, controlling a virtual telescope to reveal a distant galaxy, construct a mars rover, or reveal cosmological questions and theories. Video interviews with prominent explorers compliment the experience with first person accounts and insights into space exploration.
Snibbe Interactive, Second Story, Thomas Roszak Architects.
I lead the design team at Snibbe Interactive to develop the concept, visual and interaction design. I also co-ordinated with the design team at the Planetarium, Second Story and the project architects - helping ensure the project installed on time and within the budget.
Adler Planetarium, Chicago.
“Levels of engagement are greater when the audience can play with the exhibition. The visitor is engaged in the content because they are immersed in it through their own movement.”
“Visitors are immersed in projections of outer space as their shadows on the gallery wall are enveloped by a glowing aura. When they move through the gallery they will notice that their shadows interact with elements within the projections and that they can unlock features such as videos and a magnifying lens…The welcome gallery adds depth to the informational displays by immersing the visitors in images of space and creating a connection between their movements and the cosmos.”