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A World of All Seasons


Problem

Design a museum exhibit which provides an equitable experience for both disabled and able bodied persons.

Solution

We designed a museum exhibit that showed visitors what the seasons are like in different parts of the world.  Our exhibit takes advantage of four of the five senses to provide an experience for visitors regardless of any imparements.

The exhibit is composed of two parts in a large room.  The main area is a world map that supports multiple visitors.  Around the perimeter of the room are a dozen ‘isolation chambers’ that will only support a single person.  Both areas work in similar ways.  Using air conditioners, fans, sprinklers, directional speakers, and fragrance sprayers, the exhibit will simulate the weather in a certain location.

In the main area, visitors can walk across the map and experience the weather in a certain area on the current date.

Visitors can also step into an isolation chamber marked with a specific location.  In the chamber, the visitor can select a month to experience the weather in the specific location at different times of the year.


The Prototype

Part of the assignment was to build a prototype of some portion of the exhibit and test it.  We decided to prototype the isolation boothes.  We chose a tropical climate during the rainy season for the prototype booth.

The prototype consisted of a large television screen which displayed video of our prototype location.  The screen was surrounded by cardboard to isolate the test user from the rest of the room.  An inflatable wading pool was placed on the floor at the bottom of the booth and a clear shower curtain was hung in front of the screen, behind the user.

As the video played, one member of our team stood above the booth and spritzed water and air freshener into the booth to simulate the humidity and smells of the tropical climate.  A hair dryer was also used to simulate wind and heat.

The Team

The team consisted of