The mobile version of the Galileo Drawings App is called simply Touch The Sun after the exhibition that sparked the idea for it. Touchscreen drawing possibilities are what first sparked my interest in creating a drawing-driven interaction for the Solar Dynamics Observatory images.
This desktop application was designed for Chabot Space and Science center. Users are presented with recent images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and prompted to make guided observations, using their fingers on the touchscreen to draw the features they see.
This is the main user interface for an exhibition at Chabot Space and Science Center. It is driven largely by imagery from the Solar Dynamics Observatory: a NASA mission in orbit broadcasting stunning imagery of the Sun back to Earth.
Touch the Sun is a NASA funded project with a gallery diplaying images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The interior is an organic space with natural fibers and wood, custom furniture and hand-painted murals. The earthy look is to contrast with a set of screens where users interact with the images.
Teachers Eric Lewis and Joan Le explains why “Bright Black” is the winner of their hearts at the Exploratorium.
I designed this house where half the rooms are white with colored light, and half are colored with white light. People can reach in with their hands, and compare what their skin looks like in the adjacent rooms.
Soapy water is pumped onto a small acrylic platform in small tear-like amounts. By lighting the liquid drops from behind and providing a mirror at the right distance, users can reflect on their own reflection, now with tears streaming down their faces. For many, this induces a powerful empathy response, and their mood can quickly swing to a state of sadness and alarm.
Charles had long been looking for a way to create a device that would compare the variations in color at different areas of the sky. He created the prototype seen above, using lego motors, and we took these images while testing it at Fort mason’s Great Meadow.
I was amazed at the entertainment value of this item, and all the additional questions prompted as the nut opened up, spread its scent and my fingers were covered in pollen trying to rob it of the delicious nuts inside. Perhaps food as entertainment and education can go far beyond the usual artifice and pomp that we are all used to as marketing devices.
“Like a small record store: the space offers a neighborhood location to ponder on the most universal things. This can be music, or the sky.”
“Along with cable cars and seagulls, the Golden Gate Bridge foghorn is one of San Franciscos most iconic sounds. But did you know that if you hear that foghorn off in the distance, you can calculate how many miles you are from the bridge? Using the Speed of Sound exhibit at the Outdoor Exploratorium at Fort Mason, Shawn Lani shows us how sound perception is affected by distance.”
Portable Observatories was an attempt to provide small guides to the immediate surroundings in a way that would not impede too much on the landscape. We wanted the publications to be portable, so that the user takes it with her and shares with friends and family.
The San Francisco Chronicle mentioned this exhibit in Reyhan Armici’s piece “Outdoor Exploratorium takes science in stride” (March 15th 2009). “The lesson is Physics 101 – the speed of light is much faster than sound – but it’s so much more compelling to see it happening in real time.”
Richard Brown and I came up with the idea for Speed of Sound during a walk to the grounds of Fort Mason military base in San Francisco. Through binoculars I watched Richard clap his hands a few hundred feet away from me, while it took and an additional half second for the sound of the clapping to reach my ears.
House of Days in many ways mimics a classic outdoors camera obscura -except this time a visitor has the power to turn back time.
Audio Post was designed to activate the otherwise quiet parking lot at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Drivers who park are presented with a sign, announcing the radio frequency. As most cars have FM radios, we found drivers willing to park and listen.
Magic Wand is an exhibit in two sections: one angled box holding a projector angled up at the ceiling, and one simple umbrella stand holding a half dozen wand and a sign with instructions for users. The little girl dancing is a bright and spectacular as ever, and to my knowledge this new version has adequately shouldered the weight of the classic Magic Wand.
Playlab was a small toddler area within the Exploratorium.Playlab was a small toddler area within the Exploratorium. Meant to be an oasis of calm within a large and chaotic space, Playlab is essentially a reading and resting area for toddlers and their parents. Relatively small and intimate activities are provided for kids aged 0-5.
Richard alerted us to the stunning imagery developed by Akiyoshi Kitaoka and his associates. These images appear to move, swirl and crawl; and this effect was highlighted by the simple treatment of attaching them to a recognizable door. It was clearly just paper, and still they moved.
Countless Colors demonstrates that by mixing the primary colors in different amounts, one can form an infinite number of new colors. Three knobs control the intensity of red, blue, and green light, enabling the user to form any desired color, including white.
Colored Rooms demonstrates that two rooms can be painted different colors but appear to be the same. In this large doll house-like structure, the pairs of colored rooms look the same from the outside, but on closer inspection they turn out to be very different. Some rooms are painted in colors, and are lit by white light.
“Seeing takes an almost maniacal delight in trickery. There are two identically colored rooms, one painted red, the other lit with red light.”
Bright Black was designed to demonstrate that an entirely black surface (in this case a small black card) can look white, if lit brightly and surrounded by dark surfaces. When additional cards in lighter shades are introduced, the original card appears darker in comparison.