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Natural History Museum Kiosks

Project Description: 

Taking You Back In Time and Into Outer Space

Ralph Applebaum Associates (RAA) hired funny Garbage, to produce, design and program 16 kiosks, 4 animations and 1 video for the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Hayden Planetarium. Our task was to explain and illuminate discoveries of astrophysics – examining how the universe evolved into galaxies, stars and planets from the Big Bang to the present. We worked closely with the museum’s curators and astronomers to ensure a unique and accurate representation of the complex data supplied by the museum. The designs were geared to be engaging for and easily navigated by a range of audience ages – from ages 6 to 86.

The project required the creation of a model for the formation of the universe, galaxies, stars and planets. Though the use of touch screens, FG was able to create intuitive and easy to use navigation elements such as the time scale slider that allowed the user to envision the relative scale of various elements from microscopic to the size of a planet.

We also produced entirely original animations in Director using 50,000 sprites, some clever arithmetic and Aftereffects to give the graphics perspective and authenticity. Our careful marriage of high-end technology and design with detailed information architecture allowed us to represent 13 billion years of cosmic history in a logical and entertaining manner.