The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC reopens to the public on October 14th. The long-awaited grand reopening of the west end exhibits features eight reimagined galleries, including Early Flight, One World Connected, Exploring the Planets, Destination Moon, We All Fly, American by Air, Nation of Speed, and Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age.
“This is one of the most exciting times in the National Air and Space Museum’s history,” said Chris Browne, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the museum. “When we open the first reimagined galleries, we hope all visitors are inspired by artifacts on display for the first time, favorite icons of aerospace presented in new ways and diverse storytelling.”
Working with the Museum and Haley Sharpe Design to support the Museum’s mission for new approaches to exhibits and diverse storytelling, Cortina Productions designed and produced 23 accessible interactives. These new media experiences invite visitors of all ages and abilities to explore topics such as astronomy, human connection, natural science, transportation, and history. With an accessibility-first design approach, our team worked with NASM staff, Access Smithsonian, and the Institute for Human Centered Design to make the exhibit space and experiences more inclusive and useable by visitors of all abilities. Cortina Productions tested the interactives at the museum with user-experts who had different types of sensory, physical, and brain-based disabilities. Exhibits include gesture interactives with dynamic voiceovers, and both single-user and multi-user interactive touchscreens that are navigable through accessible keypads and screen readers.
Exhibit highlights include the Connected Planet Globe, which welcomes visitors into the One World Connected gallery with a large-scale digital interactive globe and six interactive kiosks that display animations and stories about how aerospace technology make people and our planet more interconnected; the Flight Simulator interactives in the Early Flight gallery, which features three different early aircrafts and demonstrates the innovative controls systems used to fly each one; the Building the Saturn V Rocket interactive in the Destination Moon gallery, which allows visitors to work together on a multi-user touch table to build the components of and then launch the Saturn V Rocket that took mankind to the moon; and the Race Against the Machines gesture-driven interactive, which invites visitors to test their speed against virtual cars, motorcycles, and planes.
An ever-popular staple of the Smithsonian museums, the National Air and Space Museum’s newly reimagined exhibits combine well-known artifacts and full-scale models with accessible design and engaging media exhibits to ensure a memorable visitor experience for current and future generations.
“The interactive media for NASM’s new exhibits engages visitors deeper into exhibit content, invites them to participate, and allows them to see how their lives are connected to the stories at the Museum,” states Senior Project Manager and Senior Producer Katie Engel. “It’s exciting to help bring these experiences to visitors in a way that is inclusive and accessible to all.”
For more information, please click here: https://airandspace.si.edu/newsroom/press-releases/national-air-and-space-museum-reopens-eight-new-galleries-oct-14