Introduction

I was tasked with exploring at least 2 museums and their respective exhibits to find inspiration to make an interactive kiosk that could be displayed in one of these exhibit areas. I picked the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D. C. and National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo Da Vinci in Italy as my candidates. I explored both museums and found unique interactive experiences.

Virtual Exhibit

One of my favorite found exhibits was the Eyes on the Earth from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. NASA made a virtualization app that is accessed by Eyes on the Earth and this virtual experience gives users the chance to use a part of the app to look at some satellites around earth and even see visualized data about water levels, temperature, and even see what Earth looks like in real time

Picture from Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum while watching a satellite
Picture from Nasa’s Eyes Visualization App

Observations:

  • High level of realism and scientific accuracy with the data
  • Using 3D to make an immersive environment and to highlight Earth’s features
  • Multiple levels of content that each have their own visualization effect
  • Interactions based on rotation of the Earth and touching the multiple buttons

Desired Features:

  • I wish I could select parts of the earth and even planets that had satellite pictures taken to get a realistic observation aside from the virtual nature of it
  • I also wish it had more beyond the limited options in the top menu like traffic details, population density, something beyond just the physical planet itself
Image from Nasa’s Eyes Visualization App

Typography:

  • The font choice was consistent throughout all parts and used all caps for titles on statistical charts and buttons
  • No noticeable theme for the font choice was present
  • I think using all caps was intentional to show hierarchy
  • The type style was a sans serif with all white text to match the contrast of white looking stars in the blackness of space

Physical Space

National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo Da Vinci

The Leonardo Da Vinci museum used a lot of bold colors and more physical mediums to explore science and technological advances with class and precision. The curators seem to want to only use digital mediums to enlarge images more than add interaction. They seem to want to evoke that not everything needs to be flashy and digital to be legible and able to give an immersive feel.

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum uses the whole museum space to capture the realistic scale of the aircraft, rockets, and machines. Using a mixture videos, physical displays, and a few virtual displays this museum offers a multitude of mediums to inspire and indulge the curious minds.

Learn something

Earth to Apollo 17 was interesting as not being around in that time gave a past view on what Earth looked like before being brought deep into the era of digital media and uncontrolled global warming plague.

I learned that Apollo 17 was another moon landing exploration mission like Apollo 11. The picture of Earth showed a very significant south pole with a lot more visible ice than today.

Overall response

I found the museum experiences insightful and inspiring. I found the use of different textures can add a varying level of detail. Also keeping facts basic and interesting can keep a user’s attention longer and wanting more.