Odyssium Health Gallery

Merit Award

Visitors are invited to take a stroll through a nighttime carnival and test their strengths, skills, and senses while learning about the wonders of the human body. Colorful sideshow banners 'pitch' basic anatomy and body systems. Games of skill and chance provide opportunities to mimic body processes. 'Barkers' reel visitors in with surprising body facts and dare them to step closer and see real human organs.

The carnival theme provided a graphic approach that appealed to all the target audience groups, but especially the primary audience: teenagers who traditionally avoid such exhibits. The theming, plus the balance of graphics, interactive exhibits, audio-visual programs and intriguing specimens have been successful in drawing teenagers and visitors who may be intimidated by science.

The graphic banners, printed on canvas with a wide-format solvent-based inkjet printer, feature flat fields of bright, bold color with contrasting deep, rich-toned accents. The illustration style blends pulp-comic book realism with frames, curtains, and decorative borders that evoke mid-century sideshow banners. All illustrations and decorative accents are themed to support the carnival approach and real-world messages.

Jury Comments: 

"This exhibit communicates very directly; the messages are clear and relevant to the intended audience. Teenagers are difficult to reach with exhibits, so the fun of humorous texts and the carnival atmosphere are appropriate to the exhibit's objectives. It made me laugh!" "Over the top! You may not agree with the aesthetic but the goals of a carnival atmosphere to entice teenagers can't be missed!"

Design Firm: 

Aldrich Pears Associates



Location City: 

Edmonton, Canada

Project Area: 


Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 


Design Team: 

Ron Pears (Principal in Charge), Tim Linday, Isaac Marshall, Randi Robin, Richard Lien, Nola Johnson, Zack Taylor


Douglas Welch Design Associates Ltd. (lighting), Cohos Evamy (architecture), Museum Reproductions (interactive design), Conceptron Associates (audio/video design), Lunny Communications Group Inc. (audio/video production)


Beauchesne & Company, Artcraft Advertising Ltd. (Banners)

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