FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ESI Design Brings Sweeping New Dynamic and Interactive Exhibits to Ellis Island’s New National Immigration Museum
Opening May 20th, visitors to be immersed in an expanded history of American immigration
New York City (May 12, 2015) – Ellis Island visitors will be immersed in an expanded history of American immigration- from the colonial era to the present- when sweeping new dynamic and interactive exhibits conceived and created by experience design firm ESI Design open to the public on Wednesday, May 20th.
Chronicling immigration to America before the processing station at Ellis Island opened in 1892 and after it closed in 1954, the exhibits are part of the new Peopling of America Center®, which offers a broader, more inclusive immigrant history for visitors to experience. Both the pre-Ellis Island wing, “Journeys: The Peopling of America—1550s to1890,” which opened in 2011, and the new post-Ellis Island gallery, “The Journey: New Eras of Immigration,” have been designed by ESI Design to give visitors a first-hand sense of the immigrant experience in those respective time frames.
ESI Design, an acclaimed experience design and innovation firm, was founded in 1977 by interactive design pioneer Edwin Schlossberg. Their design of The Peopling of America Center builds on the firm’s decades-long relationship with the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service.
“In designing The Peopling of America Center, ESI Design focused on creating an immersive environment that emotionally engages visitors in not just the epic story of American immigration, but also in the challenges and opportunities faced by today’s immigrants,” said Schlossberg. “By creatively combining dynamic video with interactive installations, ambient sound and interpretive graphics, we invite visitors to personally experience the immigrant journey at different points in time, to hear the unique voices, and to witness what happens at the various stages of that journey. The pre- and post-Ellis Island exhibits take the visitor through common stages, but each expresses the journey in ways that encourage them to connect and experience it in the context of each period.”
For the Peopling of America Center, ESI Design merged old-fashioned storytelling techniques with new technologies to bring the modern American immigration experience to life though a range of immersive, experience-oriented exhibits. Notable new exhibit features range from a large-scale globe that projects video of global migration patterns throughout history to life-sized video projections of new immigrants sharing their personal stories. The exhibits were fabricated by Hadley Exhibits, Inc., with all video and audio presentations produced and underwritten by the History Channel.
With the completion of the Peopling of America Center and the entire story of American immigration now being told, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum will be renamed the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, and become the nation’s official museum chronicling all immigration from the colonial era to today.
Highlights of ESI Design’s Work for the Peopling of America Center Include:
- World Migration Globe is a stunning, 5-foot radiant acrylic globe in which HD video is projected onto the interior of the sphere illustrating human migration patterns throughout human history to the United States and other nations around the world. Together with three dynamic LCD panels flanking the Globe, this centerpiece of the Global Migration exhibit represents the museum’s new focus on telling a larger immigration story.
- The Journey: New Eras of Immigration features large-scale video projections and interactive displays like the Story Kiosks, where visitors select from a variety of videos of immigrants sharing their moving, first-hand accounts of arriving and living in America. Visitors to the interactive Threads of Migration can trace the arc of their ancestors’ journey by locating the geographic coordinates between where they live today and where their forebears started their journey. An interactive for kids, Time Travels, let’s them explore and reveal the length of a journey at different points of time depending on the mode of travel.
- Citizenship Gallery: Highlights include an interactive program that invites visitors to try their hand at the civics and American history test that immigrants take to become naturalized U.S. citizens, and includes video of naturalization ceremonies around the country, culminating in the oath of citizenship.
The opening of The Peopling of the America Center builds on ESI Design’s long history of setting new benchmarks for interactivity and experience design in museums and cultural institutions—from creating one of the nation’s first interactive museums (The Brooklyn Children’s Museum) 35 years ago to the March 2015 opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston.
About ESI Design
ESI Design has been a pioneer in experience design and audience engagement since its founding by Edwin Schlossberg in 1977. The firm specializes in imagining and creating immersive and interactive environments that help brands, corporations and cultural institutions engage with audiences and customers in innovative, more meaningful ways. A New York-based, multidisciplinary firm, ESI Design has realized memorable experiences, exhibits and environments for such clients as Barclays, AT&T, Comcast, The Edward M. Kennedy Institute, eBay, The Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty Foundation and National Park Service, Beacon Capital, PNC and Barclays. (www.esidesign.com)
About the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created museums on both islands, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor®, the American Family Immigration History Center®, and its newest project, The Peopling of America Center® which has transformed the museum into the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. The Foundation’s endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.