The Story of Materials

Tasked with creating a new experience within a dated and boring one at Queensland’s Art Gallery located in Southbank as a apart of a university class. After first visits the exhibit I wanted to create a new experience for was clear. There is a small room off to the right at the art gallery as you walk in, if you enter there is four static panels on the wall. The space is called New Materials and unfortunately it has been left behind with the new developments.

The idea was to transform the room into a more immersive experience for the viewers to go in and learn more in a more interactive way than before.

By utilising kinect senors and projectors, the system would be able to track when a user enters promoting them to select an option on the screen which in this cause would be a different kind of material environment. The system would then kick into gear displaying a visualisation of that environment and educating the user on what lives there and allowing them to interact with the animals.

Coming up with an idea like this wasn’t by accident, before a single design idea was written down there was research put in surrounding existing exhibits in art galleries and what was most popular. Based on the research it showed that interactive art installation are far more popular than their static counterpart leading to idea of creating an embodied interactive experience for the users.

After the research and idea, user testing and movement mapping the typical users path was the next step getting an idea of how users went through the exisiting New Materials experience and how to better it. By sitting inside the New Materials experience, it became clear that people walked in and walked out all within a minute. Some users stay longer but most followed the path of the blue line. The orange line represents kids, as a lot ran through not knowing what it was. This confirmed that creating the interactive experience was a good bet allowing the users to have a hand on experience and educating them in the process. 

Unfortunately, the project never become real and remains as words and designs on a PDF. Though all the research and testing was conducted which lead to showing that something like this would be successful, unfortunately through the university class, the project wasn’t picked up by the Queensland Art Gallery. This isn’t all bad though as this experience in research and ideating such a project is something that can’t be taken away. Along with creating the poster layout and design itself.

Check out the full project here

Story of Materials