Climate Converter would enable meaningful interactions across all surfaces for visitors irrespective of their age, height, mobility, level of literacy or native tongue. Interactions would be laid out so that visitors could reach content irrespective of their size and height. Content would be accessible for children without isolating older visitors, and avoid high-contrast rapid visual stimulation that can trigger adverse reactions in some visitors.
The environment itself cycles between extreme weather events (drought where the crops wilt and the landscape catches fire, extreme flooding where the sea level rises and rivers flood all the way onto the floor). If visitors trigger enough societal changes these weather events become less violent until the environment settles into a starry night.
Each state would be accompanied by a musical composition mixed dynamically and spatially based on visitor presence and engagement.
Design + Execution
On the walls, a continuous landscape representing both rural and urban life houses 24 interactable zones. Each zone contains an action which if enacted makes a significant impact on the carbon footprint. For each of these actions we designed a short animation to illustrate the change required before that object folds and unfolds like an origami model to take on its new form in the environment.
The environment itself cycles between extreme weather events: drought where the crops wilt and the landscape catches fire, extreme flooding where the sea level rises and rivers flood all the way onto the floor. If visitors trigger enough societal changes these weather events become less violent until the environment settles into a starry night. Each state is accompanied by a musical composition mixed dynamically and spatially based on visitor presence and engagement.
Two plinths in the space operate a pledge building digital interaction, where visitors can choose from 32 actions that individuals can make to lower our carbon footprint, or write their own unique pledge. On committing a pledge the visitor watches as their paper pledge folds into an origami bird and flies from the touchscreen into the projected environment.
Climate Converter launched in May 2019. It is expected to last 10 years and has already had more than 1 million visitors. The museum is 30% above visitation targets since the exhibition launched and satisfaction is high at 96%. The impact is being captured using an audience impact model which shows the majority of visitors are learning something new and 16% are leaving inspired to make a change to protect the environment (high for a museum exhibit), our ultimate goal. The installation has been a catalyst in the media for public debate around agriculture, which is a significant economic driver for New Zealand’s economy.
Chris White (creative director)
Jacques Foottit (technical director)
Kate Stevenson (creative producer)
Chris Andersen (art director)
Cornelius Blank (graphic design director)
Alex Christensen (plinth fabricator)
Clayton McGregor (structure fabricator)
Te Papa, Frith Williams (head of experience design and content)
Jen Craddock (exhibition experience developer)
Dr. Leon Perrie (botany curator)
Ralph Upton (experience designger)
Bas van Druten (experience designer)
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (photography)