Discovery Gateway Children's Museum Entrance Redesign

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Created: 05/17/13
Last Edited: 12/10/13
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Description
Redesigning an entrance to a Museum beginning with rainbow steps leading up to a kid's mind discovering the connection between art and science.
  • Museum Entrance Redesign
  • As Creative Director, I led a team compiled of exhibit design consultants and inhouse employees in the┬áredesign of┬áthe entrance into the Museum to address two problems. First, because the Museum location is within a public space and has a big empty Atrium, people would often get lost trying to find us. Once they did find our entrance, there were not any big signs that said you were in fact at a children's museum. The second, is that the Museum was opened with blank, boring, empty walls and did not set the stage for the exciting experiences they would have inside the Museum. Our playful, interactive brand needed to extend to the front of the admissions process and help people more easily find us. Our overall concept was to focus on bringing the 2D illustration (of our DG kid with a mind that is bursting with great ideas, inventions, and dreams after visiting Discovery Gateway's inspiring exhibits and programs) into the 3D world. Our first design challenge was to understand where people were coming into the building and then decide how to engage them to get them into the Museum. Based on some visitor studies, we noticed people mostly get lost at the bottom of the stairs in our Atrium and off of the elevators to the side of the entrance. So we decided to put rainbow graphics on the stairs with the entire alphabet leading the visitor up to Z, which is then right at the entrance. Then the entrance wall was redesigned so that the kid's head would start on the left side since most visitors come from the parking doors or elevators on the right. Then we created 3D replications of ball tubes, clouds, gears, bees--similar to the illlustration--that would then wrap around the existing entrance space to create a fun and playful way into the Museum. The next challenge was where to put the Admissions Desk where people could see friendly faces but then move around it quickly with their kids and not hold up the line. After some testing and design concepts, we decided the middle of the entrance space was best and continued the clean, colorful, yet playful design into the Admissions desks. Screens also replaced printed posters to advertise upcoming events and programs. Other design challenges included also the bright windows into the Museum store needed graphics on them to hide the merchandise on the other side yet still allow some light so the entrance wasn't dark. The windows were designed with Duratrans of large flower xrays that children get to explore with magnifying glasses and explore the relationship between art and science. Other pieces also included kaleidoscope telescopes, a donation box redesign, a large wayfinding map on the interior walls, and finding a way to move people through the store when they want to exit the Museum. We designed a large caterpillar made out of stretched fabric whose back end started in the Museum space and then visitors follow it into the Museum store to find the head. The caterpillar relates to the garden and whimsical dream theme throughout--as well as becomes a butterfly on stretched fabric on the outside of the Museum store.
  • Before photo

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