Connected Worlds, Design I/O, and open Frameworks.

I love this stuff. What a great blend of technology, design, animation, and art. In a 3000 square foot space in the New York Hall of Science there is an immersive installation that allows children to directly interact with the space. Composed of six interactive ecosystems spread across the walls of the great hall, children are encouraged to use both physical items in the space as well as interact with the projected digital components. All of the surfaces are interactive and engaging.

Connected Worlds was designed to encourage children to think about sustainability and how all of these natural systems are interlinked, where local action on the environment may have global consequences later on. Children work with a fixed amount of water in the system and have to work together to manage and distribute the water across the different environments. Clouds return water from the environments to the waterfall which releases water to the floor when it rains.

Children can use physical logs to divert water flowing across the floor from the waterfall into the different environments, where they can then use their hands to plant seeds. As the different environments bloom, creatures appear based on the health of the environment and the type of plants growing in it. If multiple environments are healthy creatures will migrate between them causing interesting chain reactions of behaviors.

The immersive experience was built using  openFrameworks an open source creative coding toolkit. The project was conceived and developed by Design I/O with the New York Hall of Science by Emily Gobeille, Theo Watson and Nicholas Hardeman. Additional design and animation work was produced Josh Goodrich and game consultation by Zach Gage. Sound Design by MOST Original Soundtracks.

The first video below shows the space in action. The second video is the behind the scenes / making of video for those of you that want to geek out on how they pulled this off.