July 7 2012 // Work

Carrie Chapman Catt Multi-touch Table

At first glance, you wouldn't know it's a museum. It looks like an Iowa farm - a house, a barn, large trees, and remnants of farming life from a century ago. This special place near Charles City, Iowa, is more than a farm; it signifies an important piece of American history. Here lies the girlhood home, which has been converted into a museum, of Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, an important proponent in the women's suffrage movement.

Since the museum attracts people of all ages, the museum staff wanted to utilize technology to connect their visitors to the farm life that Carrie experienced in her day. The solution - a multi-touch table. This table allows several visitors to interact with the table simultaneously .

The table's background image is a stylized aerial view of the farm in the late 1800's. Targets on the map are hotspots which the visitors can touch to explore various farm topics. Each topic consists of captioned images that the visitor can scale, rotate, move, and go through by touching the back or forward arrows. Topics include details on the house, pioneer agriculture, life on the farm, and others.

A period of inactivity triggers a looping attract video with a dual-purpose: to protect the monitor screen, and to invite the museum visitors to interact with the table.

The multi-touch table's presence in the midst of historical artifacts creates a stunning contrast that engages visitors in an intuitive way. This fusion of technology and history enables visitors to explore and understand life on a late 1800's Iowa farm and its impact on an influential person in the women's rights movement.

For more information on interactives developed by Applied Art, visit


Written By

Jeanie Jorgensen


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