Sony Corporation wanted to make the public plaza in its new midtown Manhattan headquarters a destination for learning and brand awareness.
ESI Design proposed a double solution to meet the company's goal: Sony Plaza, a multi-dimensional entertainment and retail complex, and Sony Wonder Technology Lab, an interactive museum for children.
ESI conceived of Sony Plaza, an early model in experiential retail, as an opportunity to introduce Sony media to consumers via Sony technology. Through scenic displays, oversize graphics and theatrical lighting, visitors to Sony Plaza were taken “backstage” at Sony.
As part of the experience, ESI also created the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, a four-story, 14,000-square-foot interactive museum designed to introduce children to the wonders of communications technology. Sony Wonder featured 20 unique hands-on exhibits that utilized Sony technology to create an authentic learning environment. Upon checking in, visitors’ voices and faces were recorded and digitized onto special cards that activated exhibits, tracked their progress and personalized their overall experience. These exhibits operated for 12 years.
Visitors moved from the Plaza into Sony Wonder through the Atrium, a community venue that utilized branded shops and a performance stage to create a connected visitor experience.
As hoped, Sony Wonder became a destination for children, strengthening Sony’s brand impact in new ways.
More information on the Sony Wonder Technology Lab.
"For two decades, the Lab has stood as a concrete expression of Sony's commitment to education in the fields of science, technology and entertainment."
3.9 million visitors in the first 10 years
1995 SEGD Design Awards – Merit Award, Retail/Service Environments category