National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico

 

This unrivaled museum draws visitors from around the world to view Mexico’s premier archaeological and ethnological treasures. When the current modernist facilities opened to the public in 1964, it marked a new chapter in museology. Transcending social inequalities of the times, it shunned dry explanations and lengthy texts, trying instead to invoke long-lasting emotional impressions through evocative visual displays and thematic interpretation.

PROJECT

A complete renovation of the permanent collection galleries in 1999 included the first interactive kiosks installed in the museum. I was hired to develop user experience guidelines for interactive media across the museum and develop content rich interactive kiosks. Initial development of the of the interactives faced considerable resistance from traditionalists within the museum who thought they would distract from the museum experience. We worked with curators who recognized the potential to engage visitors through interactive media and empower better interpretation of the objects in the physical exhibition.

The project included the design, development, content creation, media production, and installation. I directed a multidisciplinary team that produced highly polished media scripts and completed three interactive applications containing over 600 "screens" of original content.

PRE-HISPANIC ARCHITECTURE OF OAXACA

Oaxaca is the birthplace of significant breakthroughs in social structures and its constructs. Home to early plant domestication, public spaces and the first city-state in the Americas, Oaxaca’s current cultural diversity is representative of its temporal depth and is intertwined with the biological diversity of the region. This interactive presents various ways to approach the subject matter: by style, technique, geography, time period, use analysis, and educational games.

SCREENCAST OF THE INTERACTIVE:

HUICHOL YARN-PAINTING

This interactive is located in front of an outstanding example of cultural continuity: the materialization of a corpus of contemporary Huichol oral history which has direct correlations with pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican mythology and cosmology; a modern codex. Working together with content specialists, I designed an innovative visual technique to highlight and interpret the complex symbolic content and its significance so visitors could appreciate this masterpiece of non-linear literature.

SCREENCAST OF THE INTERACTIVE:

 

PROJECT
Produced by Cactus Design for the Museo Nacional de Antropología in 1999. 

FORMAT AND PRESENTATION
Six kiosks, consisting of custom interactive applications running on 17" touch screen computers, installed in the permanent collection galleries.

MY ROLE
Creative director and producer