California Academy of Sciences » Interaction Design
Dive Stations are designed to allow aquarium visitors to learn more about specimens from three ecosystems represented at the institution- Philippine Coral Reef, Amazon Rain Forest, and California Coast. There is also a Dive Station as part of the Water Planet gallery. Visitors can handle actual specimens, from tree frogs to great white shark’s tooth to sea slugs. By placing the specimens on different ‘hotspots’, visitors can learn about the specimen from a variety of perspectives, from Biology to it’s connection to humans to the Academy’s role in research or conservation.
The exhibit was designed with the goal of providing an accessible experience for a variety of age groups, with content that the Academy could easily update and evolve to suit its needs.
In the Water Planet, visitors learn about how life has adapted to thrive in water in each of it’s various conditions – warm and cold, saline and fresh, dry and wet. The Water Imagers were designed to supplement the nearby living displays by providing additional stories within each theme. For example, next to the Beaded Lizard enclosure, visitors learn about how other lifeforms that have adapted to dry conditions. These interactives’ close proximity to living exhibits, water effects (and visitors!) made for an interesting technical and design challenge.