Our Work

A dynamic simulation

of the U.S. Senate

This dynamic learning environment features interactive technology, informative visual content, and collaborative activities that take place in and around a full- scale replica of the Senate chamber.

ESI fulfilled Senator Kennedy’s vision for a new model for civic education and public discourse.

Opportunity: Senator Edward M. Kennedy envisioned the EMK Institute as a new model for civic education and public discourse about the challenges facing the nation. To fulfill that vision, ESI Design created the Institute as a portal into the legislative process and a training ground for the decision-makers of the future.

Solution: ESI designed a dynamic, participatory learning environment with interactive technology, highly visual and information-rich content, and collaborative activities that take place in and around a full-scale replica of the U.S. Senate Chamber. The result is an unparalleled immersive experience that directly engages visitors in the spirit of civic dialogue, compromise, and collaboration.

The heart of the EMK Institute experience is a groundbreaking, dynamic group simulation of the U.S. Senate (the Senate Immersion Module, or SIM) for up to 100 visitors (most often students and leadership training groups). Visitors take on the roles of senators for a day to study issues, debate, negotiate, craft bills and amendments, and vote on legislation. Through these programs, participants learn about the legislative process, and that debate and negotiation play key roles in the passage of effective legislation.

Result: EMKI has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the past 3 years. Last year more than 300 schools visited and nearly 22,000 participants became Senator for a day. “It’s hard for our children to see the possibilities of our democracy,” said Former President Barack Obama. “This place can help change that, can plant the seed of noble ambition in the minds of future generations.”

Experience Design

Concept

Content

Data Visualization

Media

Software

Exhibits

Games

Graphics

Interiors

Sound

Staff Training

Systems

Wayfinding

Activities

Identity

Production

“How do you design an experience that makes learning about the U.S. Senate fun? You let visitors role-play senators.”

Fast Company

18,000 Today’s Vote participants in the first year

Latest

In The News
Lights, Camera, Interaction
Attractions Management Magazine
In The News
Kennedy Institute in Boston seemingly off the radar of Western Massachusetts
The Berkshire Eagle
Awards
2017 THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement – Connected Immersion in Education
In The News
Podcast: Michael Schneider, Senior Designer, ESI Design
Sixteen:Nine
Awards
2016 Core77 Design Award – Notable for Interaction Design
Awards
2016 British Guide of Travel Writers Awards – Merit Award
Awards
2016 Interaction Award – Best in Category, Connecting
Awards
2015 Spark:Experience Awards – Gold Winner
In The News
Senator for a day at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
Dallas News
In The News
Massachusetts’ Kennedy Institute offers window on U.S. Senate
Reuters
In The News
EMK Institute for the US Senate Opens in Boston with AV Support from Electrosonic
Museums + Heritage Advisor
In The News
Play Senator for a Day in an Interactive Cultural Institute
PSFK
In The News
At the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, students use tablets to game the political system
Beta Boston
In The News
Ted Kennedy’s Institute Lets Visitors Play Senator for a Day
Quartz
In The News
In This Museum, You Don’t Learn About Senators. You Are A Senator.
Fast Company
Design Thinking
Fulfilling a Vision: Designing The Edward M. Kennedy Institute Experience
In The News
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute Combines Cutting Edge Tech with a Full-Scale Senate Chamber Replica
Slate
In The News
Edward M. Kennedy institute for US senate experience and exhibit
Designboom

Related Work

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate

Boston, MA • 2015

A dynamic simulation

of the U.S. Senate

This dynamic learning environment features interactive technology, informative visual content, and collaborative activities that take place in and around a full- scale replica of the Senate chamber.

ESI fulfilled Senator Kennedy’s vision for a new model for civic education and public discourse.

Opportunity: Senator Edward M. Kennedy envisioned the EMK Institute as a new model for civic education and public discourse about the challenges facing the nation. To fulfill that vision, ESI Design created the Institute as a portal into the legislative process and a training ground for the decision-makers of the future.

Solution: ESI designed a dynamic, participatory learning environment with interactive technology, highly visual and information-rich content, and collaborative activities that take place in and around a full-scale replica of the U.S. Senate Chamber. The result is an unparalleled immersive experience that directly engages visitors in the spirit of civic dialogue, compromise, and collaboration.

The heart of the EMK Institute experience is a groundbreaking, dynamic group simulation of the U.S. Senate (the Senate Immersion Module, or SIM) for up to 100 visitors (most often students and leadership training groups). Visitors take on the roles of senators for a day to study issues, debate, negotiate, craft bills and amendments, and vote on legislation. Through these programs, participants learn about the legislative process, and that debate and negotiation play key roles in the passage of effective legislation.

Result: EMKI has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the past 3 years. Last year more than 300 schools visited and nearly 22,000 participants became Senator for a day. “It’s hard for our children to see the possibilities of our democracy,” said Former President Barack Obama. “This place can help change that, can plant the seed of noble ambition in the minds of future generations.”

“How do you design an experience that makes learning about the U.S. Senate fun? You let visitors role-play senators.”

Fast Company