“Museums are storytellers. As every curator knows, every object tells multiple stories. But how do you get from the object to the stories?”
~ Dr Robert Pickering, Gilcrease Museum
It was an extraordinary privilege working with the Kravis Discovery Center, part of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When the museum director first took us around the collection we were amazed by the stories behind it. That was our inspiration for the project – we wanted to make sure every one of their visitors had that same personal experience. With this system, we gave people a way to learn about the objects and the stories, and explore the center for themselves.
We brought together multiple technologies – old and new – to create the new Interactive Discovery Trail – turning a collection of artifacts from indigenous peoples of the Americas into a unique interactive and immersive educational attraction.
The new attraction now uses 3D soundscapes, innovative display solutions and our own system to tell the story of Native peoples and cultures of North, Central and South America through the 4,000 artifacts that make up the collection, giving visitors a rare insight into the lives of the people who created and used them.
Working alongside the team at the Gilcrease Museum we designed the attraction to complement the Oklahoma school syllabus.
“There’s a lot of technology in the new Kravis Discovery Center but we didn’t want the experience to be just about cool new technologies. We wanted it to be about stories. So we worked very hard to create hand-crafted exhibits that reflect the beauty and craft of the objects within the collection and allow the stories to transcend the technology.”
~ Dominic Jones, Creative Director, TEQ4
Technology & Story…
We combined a range of contemporary technologies and traditional techniques to sensitively tell the stories behind the artifacts. Including:
- Merging high-technology with artisan techniques and natural materials
- Immersive 3D soundscape recordings of birds, bison, horses and eagles recreate the natural environment, while hand-drawn animations and visual projections onto kiln-formed glass help to animate and bring to life the stories and artifacts.
- An augmented-reality interactive drawer experience replete with 3D printed and virtual objects allows visitors to see, manipulate and study the collection in detail.
- A Projected Map Table and Bear Cave panorama made from organic, textured kiln-formed glass was handcrafted specially for the attraction.
- A Welcome Wall with mountain tableau artwork for tablet display and storage, blends with an animated screensaver that changes based on battery level to create a dynamic motif.
“Through the layers of technology we’re able to tell more stories”
~ Dr Bob Pickering, Gilcrease Museum
Behind the scenes…
The software-controlled interactive tablets allow each guest to have a unique tailored experience as they explore the collection. High-precision tracking systems allow visitors to immerse themselves in the attraction, interacting with a host of artifacts brought to life using a range of hi-tech innovations. Using software to identify the exact location of each user, guests can be automatically grouped into teams and directed around the experience – tracking their progress, recording their score and receiving prizes as they answer curriculum-centric questions along the trail.
“It not only tells the story of Oklahoma, it tells the story of the United States and ancient times before that”
~ Donna Gainey, Gilcrease Museum