A participatory, immersive experience at the Carnegie Museum that focuses on the impact of the anthropocene on our natural systems.
Carnegie Mellon University
Interaction Design Studio
6 Weeks, 2021
Help the Carnegie museum of natural history transition into an interactive space that promotes engagement, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures.
Concept & Ideation
What defines a museum beyond a building and a collection?
What should we consider when we're designing for a public space with diverse user groups?
How do we ensure engagement and learning as part of our experience?
How might we design an interactive learning experience that helps the museum transform its passive spectators into active participants?
3 core connected experiences across the museum - an introduction, an immersive activity, and a pledge, come together across the museum space to teach visitors about human impact on the plant kingdom.
Discover and Learn
DISCOVER AND LEARN
Identify and learn about plants anywhere in the museum with details on the major threats they face from human impact.
Realtime information browsing with augmented reality tags
Interact & Understand
Pledge & Reflect
INTERACT & UNDERSTAND
I. Posture detection using PoseNet
II. Object detection using machine learning
III. Feedback on custom-built installation tree
I. Plant perfect screen
Serves as an interactive entry point to the dioramas and helps you learn more about the plants in the 'hall of botany'.
Building the screen
Moving to PoseNet for identity
II. The immersive activity
The dioramas come alive with extended projection mappings. Each topography has a related game with a lesson in human impact.
Object detection using machine learning
Projection as extended diorama topography
Projection triggered by user cue on app
Collect plastic to complete game
Making and Setting up the Projections
2 projectors, sunboards, and some DIY holders
Testing floor projections
III. The feedback installation
The installation anchors the exhibit together at the center of the botany hall. Each completed activity adds a leaf to the projection and the visitors come together to keep the tree alive.
Building the tree
Peer testing ideas
Customising LED run time
Putting it together
Pledge and reflect
Closing the experience with visitor reflection. The users can interact with the pledge wall directly as a separate experience or leave a pledge at the end of each activity.
Social interaction through a tangible interface
Tactile interface using conductive tape
Built using themed illustration cutouts, copper tape, a speaker, voice recordings, and a touch board to trigger sound.
Bare conductive touch board
Recording and adding audio
LOOKING BACK AND WRAPPING UP THE 4 WEEKS
We began this project with comprehensive field research to look into user behavior and patterns of existing interaction at the museum.
Ideation and journey mapping
This was followed by storyboarding and activity mapping to think of space-appropriate interactions for our target audience. These were built in as part of the overall user journey.
Building and testing
The most extensive part of this project was the physical and digital tools we built. This was my first time working with interactive technologies and iterative design making. The most exciting part was working with tactile interfaces and basic Arduino.
FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS AND REFLECTIONS
To ensure maximum engagement across age groups, our team felt like we would’ve benefitted from having these activities accessible from built-in tangible devices in the physical space itself, removing the need for any device.
Working with immersive tech.
Could we have made it multi-person?
By encouraging visitors to take roles and complete an activity together, the exhibit could've encouraged play among people visiting in groups such as friends and families.
Working with physical prototypes was a new experience for me. To understand the basics of implementing Augmented Reality, Tangible interfaces and Projections was a critical takeaway.
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