Bishop Museum Wins National Design Award - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bishop Museum Wins National Design Award

KALIHI (KHNL) - Bishop Museum¹s Hot Spot Conservation Lab was recognized with the prestigious Communications Arts Magazine Design Annual Award of Excellence for 2006. The Hot Spot Conservation Lab is one of many interactive exhibits in the new Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center, which opened in November 2005.

"When we were planning the new Science Adventure Center our goal was to create new experiences and exhibitions by experimenting with the best technologies to bring Hawaiian science to life for our visitors," says Dave Kemble, the visionary designer who spearheaded the project for Bishop Museum. "We are delighted to receive this national recognition on behalf of the entire team."

"The great projects are the ones that have all the elements‹design consistency and aesthetics, clear organization of information; and interactives with choices so that you have control over how you experience it," says Communications Arts editor Patrick Coyne.

The award-winning Hot Spot Conservation Lab combines virtual and physical interaction in a very engaging way. It's both informative and fun and transforms learning into something that kids will want to spend time doing.

The exhibit allows visitors to view radio frequency-tagged plants, insects, and animals embedded in clear protective pucks. Once a puck is placed on a display table, rear-projected images appear on the tabletop and users can view the specimens by responding to a variety of prompts.

According to Kemble, the display was developed over 42 months and includes 14 specimens and four separate activities per specimen. It involved a design team that included software developers and electronic engineers in San Francisco and a fabricator in New Jersey. The collaboration involved Gyroscope Exhibit Design (Oakland, CA), BBI Engineering, Redhill Studios, and Dennis Kunkel Microscopy.

Ron Davis, Principal of Gyroscope, Inc. says, "I think we all stretched the boundaries of what is possible, including the collaborative demands of bringing a vision rich in detail and complexity into reality within the constraints of time and money."

"We collected spiders from the mountains of Hawaii and they traveled halfway across the world and back again, stopping long enough to be preserved, photographed, and embedded in clear resin disks tagged with Radio Frequency Identification chips," says Kemble. "Using new techniques which have never been seen before, we created a unique and powerful learning environment."

Judge Todd Purgason called it "An amazing union of online and offline worlds. Pure genius!"

The Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center has a three-story erupting volcano, lava melting furnaces, remotely-operated submersibles, and a variety of exhibits kids can touch and experience to learn more about Hawaii's unique environment and natural history. Bishop Museum hosts more than 50,000 schoolchildren a year and more than 400,000 visitors.

For more information about The Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center or the Hot Spot Conservation Lab, call (808) 847-3511 or visit

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