At the Henry Ford Museum, ESI Design created the Innovation Station, a giant, Rube Goldberg–type contraption operated by 30 to 60 visitors.
The Henry Ford Museum wanted to create an exhibit that helped children and adults understand the potential of innovation, the primary focus of the Museum. ESI created the Innovation Station, a giant Rube Goldberg–type contraption operated by 30 to 60 visitors. By participating in activities from peddling a bike to running on a treadmill, individuals work together to literally power the Innovation Station. The larger the group, the more active the machine becomes.
The immediate goal of the Innovation Station is to separate 5,000 balls into three bins according to color. However, the larger aim is to allow visitors to experience the kind of problem solving, teamwork and communication that is at the root of invention. A moment was built into the process where the Innovation Station jams up, forcing the group to stop and figure out how to work together to maximize efficiency. As a result, the Innovation Station is often used for team-building exercises for corporate audiences.
"Problem-solving is one aspect of innovation and that's what the museum is about."
3,200 square feet