MIT Museum

MIT Museum

MIT Museum

MIT Entry

Project Overview

Inviting visitors to experience first-hand how
MIT-led innovations are shaping the future.

Bluecadet produced over 20 interactive moments across 20,000 square feet of exhibition space at the MIT Museum, inviting visitors to experience first-hand how MIT-led innovations are shaping the future.

The MIT Museum turns the university inside-out. Bluecadet worked with the architecture firm Studio Joseph and the brand strategists at Pentagram to create an exhibition that makes complex scientific ideas more accessible by demonstrating active research through interactive, engaging, and playful experiences.

Project Videos and Images

Create a Digital Avatar

MIT sees itself as not a place, but a “unique collection of exceptional people.” Therefore, the Community Wall is the first major media moment visitors encounter in the museum. It provides a playful, generative data visualization of the MIT community while showcasing the radical ideas and innovations that are a hallmark of MIT. At input stations visitors complete a survey, generating a personal avatar that reflects the fun and quirkiness of MIT. These avatars bounce, play and interact on a large media surface.

Community Wall Image

Hear About Exciting Research

Custom designed audio cones provide a unique listening experience for visitors to hear directly from some of MIT’s celebrated researchers and thinkers. The audio recordings are triggered when visitors step in front of each cone, which feature pulsing interior lighting to accentuate the speakers’ voices and an outer LED ring that highlights the cones’ sculptural quality. Subtle floor projections indicate where visitors should stand and summarize the content with short titles.

Proximity Audio Cones

Write Poetry With an AI

This application teaches visitors about AI by inviting them to write poetry in collaboration with a GPT-3 neural network. Bluecadet trained the AI to specifically to write poetry. Visitors can take turns writing lines of a poem with the interactive AI, which will suggest its own contributions based on the user’s input. Once a visitor is happy with the poem, they can add it to the archive, sending it up into the river of poems on the curving displays arcing overhead.

Collaborative Poetry

See How an AI Thinks

The Black Box interactive invites visitors to draw a face on a touchscreen. Their drawing is then transferred to the surface of a three-layer holographic projection that visualizes the processes used by a neural network to analyze the face and determine which emotion it is expressing. Bluecadet trained an AI for this experience, creating a custom on-line application capturing thousands of drawings of facial expressions created by the MIT Museum community.

Black Box

Find Life in the Universe

The MIT Museum aims to make complex scientific concepts more accessible through interactive, engaging, and playful experiences. Bluecadet designed the Sara Seager Equation interactive to do just that — guiding visitors step-by-step through an equation that predicts the likelihood of discovering extraterrestrial life. The installation features custom-built knobs with integrated LED lighting, allowing visitors to dial in variables to complete the equation. A dynamic starfield responds in real time, illustrating the specified conditions and the odds of finding life in the universe.

Seager Equation

Try to Save a Species

Population Editing is an interactive table at which up to four simultaneous users explore the long-term impact of gene editing on the entire population of a species. The choices each visitor makes inform real-time simulations that use existing scientific data to show the resulting consequences. Users learn the risks and rewards of gene editing and, at the end of the exercise, have the chance to vote on whether or not to their chosen methods deserve further research.

Population Editing

Listen to STEM Stories

The Identity interactive stations share audio recordings and oral histories of Black people working in STEM. Visitors can select playlists of content or browse through the Museum’s entire collection of audio. Nearby projections and in-station slideshows illustrate the commentary with relevant visuals of the people and their work. A docent mode lets museum guides control the full experience via personal iPad. 

Identity Interactives

See The Collection in Action

The model wall showcases some of the most significant items in the museum’s collection of 1.5 million scientific objects. Seamlessly integrated into the surface of the wall, minimalist motion graphics animate the space between the vitrines, illustrating how the models would have moved or functioned. Visitors can choose to go deeper by using one of the digital key stations to learn more about the objects on display.

Collections Wall

Honoring Mind & Hand

The above interactives are just a few of the experiences Bluecadet developed for this groundbreaking museum. We designed each one to embody MIT’s motto of “Mind & Hand.” MIT’s motto resonates with us at Bluecadet as a reminder that it’s only through the combination of creative thought and practical action that we’ll be able to solve problems and build a better future. The MIT Museum is a way to share the motto—and that mission—with the entire world.

Bluecadet has been an amazing and innovative partner. Pros all the way through the process. They pushed us in really interesting ways... and they did it through a pandemic! Such good work and I'm proud of what we've accomplished! ”

- David Nunez, Director of Technology and Digital Strategy, MIT Museum