For this DesignMatters project, Trans-disciplinary students worked in teams to create interactive exhibit items and platforms that could be implemented on site in a new exhibition at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Vanishing Animals. 

Marine Defaunation

This means animal loss in the global ocean – the challenge was to create exhibits that would present the science in relatable terms without sacrificing the facts, ultimately creating calls for urgent action to counter this potential collapse. To better understand marine defaunation and human impact on marine life, students read a study by Doug McCauley which contained scientific data that was meant to be translated by students into accessible and engaging information for Aquarium-goers. 

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For the Visitor

For each animal, we created a diagram showing how that animal connects to others in its ecosystem and in the exhibits across the Aquarium of the Pacific. This helps establish connections between the user, the animal, and various marine ecosystems. 

Kiosk Locations

Though we originally wanted the sign-up process of this experience to exist as an interactive wall, we realized as a team that this would probably slow down the sign-up process and would be hard to do in the space the Aquarium had available. Because of this and additional feedback from the Aquarium on budget, we decided to use the iPad kiosks they already had available + a sign-up kiosk with a badge dispenser.

For the design of this application, we wanted to use a lot of color and moving images. To connect to our target audience (children + young parents), we used minimal words and a voiceover which can be listened to with headphones. We also use language that directs the visitor to look at the exhibits themselves, so as not to detract attention from the animals.

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