The New International Spy Museum Opens in DC

The new International Spy Museum in L’Enfant Plaza opened its doors to the public on May 12, 2019. The new galleries cover a wide range of topics related to espionage and the history of spies, all focused around the themes of “Discover, Listen, Uncover, and Test.” Located throughout the museum are interactive and media exhibits, the world’s foremost collection of spy artifacts, and first-person accounts from top intelligence officers and experts.

Photo Credit (Above): “Cyber Command” interactive for the International Spy Museum. Photo Credit: Sam Kittner for the International Spy Museum

The “Briefing Stations” let visitors register for their undercover mission. Photo Credit: International Spy Museum

The museum also takes a new approach to personalizing the visitor experience by using Ultra-High Frequency RFID to put the visitor in the center of their own spy story. Beginning at registration, visitors go undercover on a personalized mission weaved throughout the museum that allows them to actively participate in various aspects of spycraft. Visitors are able to crack codes, assemble disguises, and test their memories as they work to collect key intel on a personalized mission. The visitor’s performance is tracked as they move through the galleries, allowing them to receive a comprehensive assessment at the end of their visit.

Photo Credit: Nic Lehoux, courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP)

Similar to the new National Comedy Center and National Soccer Hall of Fame, the International Spy Museum’s approach to personalization utilizes technology to provide the visitor with a participatory storytelling experience that allows the visitor to actively engage with the museum’s content. Cortina Productions produced16 interactive experiences and 7 films for the International Spy Museum.