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Statue of Liberty Museum Recognized for Innovative Museum AV Installations

Posted February 21, 2020

In its design for the Statue of Liberty Museum, ESI Design created an immersive visitor experience by using interactive museum AV installations in new and unexpected ways. This success in the realm of interactive digital design was recognized by Systems Contractor News (SCN), who named the Statue of Liberty Museum among the SCN 2019 Installs of the Year, a celebration of the best professional AV installations in 2019.

The Becoming Liberty exhibit encourages visitors to ponder what “liberty” means to them.

AV technology is central to the visitor experience at the Statue of Liberty Museum, which now includes 29 touch screens with 188 square feet of interactive displays to bring the statue’s history to life. When it comes to museum AV installations, the Statue of Liberty Museum features four interactive exhibits — Bartholdi’s Sketches and The Statue in Popular Culture, which invite visitors to build genuine connections to history using natural movements as they “flip through” digital artifacts, Becoming Liberty, an emotional culmination of the museum where visitors are invited to share their personal definitions of the word “Liberty,” and the Digital Donor Directory of five kiosks that visitors can use to explore donor testimonials.

Bartholdi's Sketches at the Statue of Liberty Museum
Bartholdi’s Sketches offer an organized digital platform for visitors to sift through artifacts.

The visitor’s journey begins in the Immersive Theater for an overview of Statue’s history. The film is told in three parts across three individual curved theater “nodes,” combining archival imagery, motion graphics, and drone footage on projection screens that curve around visitors, evoking the drapery of the Statue’s gown. Multiple projectors blend in each of the theaters to produce seamless 6K footage in nodes 1 and 3 and 8K footage in node 2 — a unique challenge for any filmmaker. Speakers embedded in the floor and arrayed strategically behind the screens create full immersion for visitors.

digital donor directory at the statue of liberty museum
Visitors can explore testimonials at the Digital Donor Directory.

Inside the Inspiration Gallery is the Becoming Liberty interactive and LED canvas. On 20 touch screen kiosks, visitors are prompted to answer the question, “What does Liberty mean to you?” by choosing up to seven curated images and taking a self-portrait. Their choices join with those made by other visitors in a sweeping, panoramic mosaic on a large LED wall. Data visualizations inform visitors about the popularity of certain images and the global nature of the museum’s audience.

The accessible, interactive elements of the Embracing Liberty exhibit show visitors the statue’s role in popular culture.

All of the museum AV installations were designed for ease of use by visitors of all heights, including those in wheelchairs. Each digital interactive experience features the Storm Interface Nav-Pad model — its widespread use in everything from ATMs to voting booths creates an intuitive experience for visually impaired visitors. For hearing impaired visitors, a sign language version of the audio tour is available on iPads.

The interactive experiences within the Statue of Liberty Museum have been overwhelmingly popular, with a plurality of surveyed visitors saying that “Becoming Liberty” was their favorite part of their visit. Thank you to SCN for recognizing the Statue of Liberty Museum’s role as an opportunity for visitors from around the world to experience a shared yet individualized sense of “Liberty” in an interactive environment rich in immersive museum AV installations.

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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