A TRAVELING CHILDREN'S EXHIBIT
One of our favorite projects at Collab was for The Children's Museum of Manhattan. They asked us to develop an exhibit to teach kids about architecture by studying Mosques from around the world, and make it mobile so it could travel to Libraries and Schools. Mobile, yet immersive was the directive. And give kids a memorable experience while teaching them about the architecture of Mosques.
As we researched mosques from around the globe, the design, color and the unique materials used to build these mosques became a guiding principal. We wanted to create an experience that would engage the kids and help them understand how complex shapes and structures played a role in the architecture in their everyday lives.
Build a 3-dimensional pop-up book, and combine it with a projection show. The idea was that by creating stories around the color, shapes, landscape and culture of each Mosque, we could immerse children into a magical journey around the world through a visual experience designed around light sound and motion. Our experience building theatrical projections for other projects inspired us.
We began by sketching out the installation, and mapping the user experience.
We developed educational content around the history of each of the Mosques and created a unique visual journey to educate about architecture and engineering through the study of the details of the mosques.
We developed the content to highlight individual attributes to create an understanding of how these same shapes and details are in our everyday lives. The user experience was designed to be fun and interactive as well as a valuable teaching tool for educators.
We went about building one of the largest pop-up books in the world, and made it mobile to boot.
A giant pop-up book that when educators turned the pages, a giant pop-up replica of the Mosque was revealed, projected mapped with animated content to tell the story of the Mosque and the people who worship there and care for it.
Each turn of the page was a new adventure. We created a journey around the world for the kids, awe inspiring as each new page came to life with light, sound, animated content and projection mapping.
For the educators, we developed a user friendly custom software so they could easily deploy the content onto the pop-up mosques. Using an ipad, the teachers were able to move through the pages at their own pace, focusing on the students instead of the technology.
And and the end of each immersive, multimedia journey, the kids created their own projects with paper and scissors, inspired by the designs, history and structural elements found in the architecture of the Mosques they had just experienced.
The production design and intricacies in developing the magical pop-up book created some of the most interesting design challenges we have experienced. The constraints created the conditions for our team to work together closely to understand how we could reinvent a moving mobile canvas used for projection. If you would like to go behind the scenes and learn more about the technical aspects of developing this project you can find more details here.
Many of the valuable learnings from this project have given us valuable insight into developing live immersive experiences. If you are working on a project that requires an innovation team, please reach out. We love to build teams around a vision or consult and educate on best practices for inventing and reinventing.