June 15 2017 // Work

Iowa Museum Week

When is the last time you ventured out for a little bit of Iowa learning?

Iowa Museum Week

This year marks the first year of the now annual Iowa Museum Week, and we’re smack dab in the middle of it. The state of Iowa boasts approximately 400 museums. Big and small, indoors or out, there’s a lot to see and a lot to learn, and at many of Iowa’s Museums, you can learn more by exploring interactive exhibits built by your pals at Applied Art & Technology!

Here’s a rundown of a few of our favorites!

1. The Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Waterloo, Iowa

The mission of the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum is the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Iowa veteran experiences and the contributions made by civilians on the homefront.

Applied Art worked with the museum team and their designer/fabricator, Split Rock Studios, to plan the exhibit computer interactives. We provided content development, production and integration services for:

35 documentaries and/or veteran interviews

78 homefront and warfront stories

7 interactive "Dog Tag" stations

2 veteran Search Stations

A memorial tribute to Iowa KIA/MIAs A laser-based WWII chronology

2. Carrie Chapman Catt Museum, St. Charles, Iowa

Women’s right to vote and run for office are largely attributed to Carrie Chapman Catt’s efforts during the early twentieth century. Her girlhood home on a farm southeast of Charles City, Iowa, is now a museum in her honor.

A multi-touch table that allows several visitors to interact simultaneously, was developed by Applied Art & Technology in conjunction with the museum staff.

The multi-touch table’s presence in the midst of historical information and artifacts creates a contrast that engages visitors of all ages. The fusion of technology and history shows that individuals can make a difference no matter their beginnings, as demonstrated by Catt’s contributions toward advancing rights for women.

3. Danish Modern & Victor Borge Interactives

The Museum of Danish America’s Danish Modern: Design for Living exhibit features design from the 50s and 60s with characteristics including a fusion of form and function along with flawless craftsmanship.

The Danish Design Today interactive is a 32” touchscreen with an integrated computer that features six Danish designers. Touching the screen replaces the looping attract video with a menu. Tapping a title launches the playback of the featured video.

A 46” Danish Design electronic gallery cycles through images highlighting Danish Modern design.

The museum’s Victor Borge interactive features a small touchscreen kiosk – styled to resemble a music stand – located next to Mr. Borge’s grand piano on the museum’s main floor.

4. German American Heritage Center, Davenport, IA

The German American Heritage Center in Davenport, Iowa, immerses visitors in 100 years of the German immigrant experience.

Ambient audio enhances two areas of the exhibit that transport visitors from a dock in Hamburg into a new world.

The Step Into My Shoes interactive lets visitors to actually step onto the footprints of a man, a woman, or a child to launch videos describing each person’s journey or experiences in America.

The Party Line Interactive consists of three “party line” telephones that allow the visitor to pick up and eavesdrop on immigrant conversations highlighting the suppression of German culture and language, and the tensions between the immigrants and other citizens.

The Scheutzenpark Festival game simulates festival activities at Scheutzenpark – a gathering spot for immigrant families. A trolley ride “quiz” tells about immigrant life. Crossbow shooting for the boys or pottery smashing for the girls earns each contestant a title – from king or queen to serf or queen’s court

5. University of Iowa: Old Capitol Museum

University of Iowa’s Old Capitol Museum, in cooperation with the University Library, was exploring ways to share historic children’s diaries with visitors to the museum.

To provide as realistic visitor experience as possible, we suggested creating mock books that, when inserted into a slot, displayed the contents of the diary on the adjacent LCD panel.

Visitors choose to view images of actual handwritten diary pages or easier-to-read transcripts, and can also learn more about the autobiographer and the era.

6. Iowa Hall of Pride, Des Moines, Iowa

The Iowa Hall of Pride is an interactive museum celebrating students who excelled in sport, on the stage, and as great ambassadors of their communities. Applied Art & Technology developed four key interactives featured at the Iowa Hall of Pride.

You Make the Call is an immersive experience that puts the visitor in the umpire’s shoes, calling 90-mph curveballs and experiencing crowd reactions – good and bad. The player views pitches through stereoscopic monitors within an umpire’s mask while spectators watch the action in projected high-definition video.

The All-State Music Festival takes place every year. Six-hundred-fifty of the state’s best high school musicians are selected to perform at the All-State Music Festival.

Applied Art captured on of these performances – in full HD video and surround sound – simultaneously from 3 different points of view:

The audience. The choir. The orchestra.

As visitors experience this performance, they can switch from one perspective to another in real time using a separate touchscreen interface. A second activity provides the opportunity to sing-along to all-time favorite songs.

To create the High School Kiosks, three years before the Iowa Hall of Pride was to open, Applied Art developed a web-based Content Management System (CMS), along with a user’s guide and introductory video that we distributed to 403 high schools across the state.

High school students, historians, and other interested participants used the CMS to upload photos, stories, videos, school songs, district maps, trivia questions and a wealth of information about their communities and schools.

You’re The Ref is a multi-player game. Four visitors try to accurately score a high school wrestling match in real time, awarding points to the red and green wrestlers for takedowns, near falls, escapes and reversals.

When a wrestler scores, the visitor awards points using hotspots on a touchscreen. At the end of the match, visitors compare their points awarded to the official score. Players receive or lose game points based on the speed and accuracy of their calls.

Iowa Museum Week continues through June 18th...but really, any time is a good time to do a little learning about our great state. Need ideas for your next interactive project? Let us know!

Written By

Courtnee Carstens

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