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Podcast: Inside the Interactive Exhibits at the Statue of Liberty Museum

Posted March 19, 2020

The interactive exhibits at the Statue of Liberty Museum have the power to give each of the museum’s 4.3 million annual visitors a chance to define their own sense of liberty. This idea — “Liberty for All” — was the subject of a Digital Signage stories podcast episode of the same name. In the podcast, Emily Webster, ESI Design’s Principal, SVP, Creative and Head of Media Architecture, discussed alongside Float 4’s Alex Simionescu and Diversified’s Carol Feeley-Vario how ESI Design worked to create an accessible, educational and engaging space.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

Accessible interactive exhibits allow visitors to explore the Statue of Liberty’s history.
Accessible interactive exhibits allow visitors to explore the Statue of Liberty’s history.

The Team for Designing Interactive Exhibits

Highlighting the role of interactive audiovisual technology in creating a modern, personalized experience, Emily explains how ESI Design balanced showcasing the statue’s history with its current status as a symbol of freedom and pop culture icon.

The Statue of Liberty Museum and it’s interactive exhibits is not the first project on which ESI Design has collaborated with Diversified, a revered systems integration and audio visual technology solutions provider or Float4, a forward thinking software development studio. These trusted partners helped execute ESI Design’s visions to elevate the visitor experience.

An example of this is the Becoming Liberty interactive exhibit where visitors can use one of 20 touch-screen kiosks to take a photo of themselves and then select up to seven images from a curated selection to illustrate what liberty means to them. This content is then populated onto a large LED canvas, where visitors excitedly look for their picture. Data visualizations, powered by Float4’s RealMotion platform, inform visitors about the popularity of certain images and the global nature of the museum’s audience. These visualizations also challenge each visitor to consider the ways their own perspective relates to, or contrasts with, those of previous and current visitors.

By including visitors in the experience and encouraging active participation, Becoming Liberty helps the museum demonstrate the Statue’s relevance in the modern world. Instead of serving as a hall of historical artifacts, the interactive exhibits probe visitors to think about what liberty means to them, and what the Statue symbolizes today.

Becoming Liberty is an innovative interactive exhibit featuring 20-touch screen kiosks.
Becoming Liberty is an innovative interactive exhibit featuring 20-touch screen kiosks.

Prioritizing the Visitor Experience

Emily explains in the podcast that although there is a clear content arch throughout the museum — many people flow through a chronological path of learning about the Statue’s design concept, construction, and role in today’s society — visitors don’t have to walk through the museum in a linear fashion. Each interactive exhibit is independent of the next, which helps large volumes of people easily move through the space. Emily notes that it was important for the audiovisual technology be robust and reliable in order to accommodate the thousands of daily visitors — sometimes up to 800 people arrive by ferry to Liberty Island every 20 minutes.

ESI Design’s overall goal in the experience and exhibit design of the Statue of Liberty Museum was to allow more people access to the Statue’s history and the ideals she represents. Prior to the construction of the new museum, visitors were only able to explore artifacts related to the Statue’s history in a small museum inside the pedestal, where limited amounts of people were allowed inside. The new museum is not just focused on the Statue’s history — it also fosters a conversation about what liberty represents, and offers visitors a way to contribute to the ongoing conversation about what liberty means.

Interactive exhibit touchscreens depict the statue’s role in popular culture.
Interactive exhibit touchscreens depict the statue’s role in popular culture.

Hear more about the Statue of Liberty Museum’s interactive exhibits:

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

Wanting to create a set of interactive exhibits for your cultural institution?

Get in touch!  Tell us about your project idea here.

Michelle Lampariello

Michelle is ESI Design’s Fall 2019 Marketing Intern, and is blogging about the latest happenings at ESI and beyond.

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