Maya 2012: Lords of Time

Three interactive installations and two immersive projections for the acclaimed exhibition

Services

Information Architecture, Experience Design, Game Dynamics, Flash Development, Illustration

The Penn Museum’s Maya 2012: Lords of Time was a critically acclaimed exhibition exploring the Maya’s sophisticated systems of language and time, alongside an impressive collection of ancient objects.

Timed to coincide with the supposed end-of-the-world prediction for December 2012, the exhibition offered a fascinating look at Maya culture beyond popular myths and rumors. Bluecadet worked closely with Penn Museum scholars and exhibition staff to create three interactive installations and two immersive projections for Maya 2012. Each interactive interpreted an aspect of Maya culture, engaging both children and adults in the exhibition narrative.

Touchscreen Interactives

We created interactive experiences that offered visitors a playful and rewarding way to learn about some of the key concepts in the exhibition—concepts that can be tricky to grasp by looking at static objects or text alone.

One touchscreen invited visitors to compare Maya and Western calendar systems; another let them delve into Maya glyph writing. A larger tabletop interactive invited multiple users to become archaeologists, virtually exploring a king’s tomb from the ancient city of Copán.

Our team also designed two immersive projections for the exhibition. The first one served as a companion to the calendar touchscreen interactive, comprising a full-scale animation of our unique, gear-based calendar model. Eye-catching and accessible, this projection ensured that every visitor recognized the basics of Maya timekeeping.

The second projection was an atmospheric display of the night sky, punctuated by ghostly glyph characters, which invited visitors to pause and reflect.

Results

Horizon Awards – Gold, Best of Show

American Alliance of Museums – Interpretive Interactive Installations: Bronze

CommArts Design & Interactive Annual – Gold: Design

 

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