Our Senses: An Immersive Experience

Practice Area


American Museum of Natural History

Project Vision

The highly experiential exhibition Our Senses delves into how our brains work with sensory organs to shape our perceptions. The goal of the exhibition was to explain these concepts in a fun and engaging way that a wide range of people could easily understand. The gallery space was transformed into a winding series of individual rooms, providing 10 different gallery spaces to design.

A big challenge was designing a show based on experience rather than on objects, creating a series of immersive environments that involve all the senses. Each room is treated as a unique design challenge; designers started with a basic grid and reinvented it throughout the show to address each topic.

One accent color for each room visually separates one room from the next and plays off of the vivid environment of each room. Speech and thought bubbles were employed to work with the individual design language of each room and carry a visual thread throughout the show.

The finished show will be open for over a year in New York City, and will travel for up to 10 years. The show was designed to address travel challenges of durability, lightness and modularity. All shows are designed to accommodate a future bilingual presentation.

The design team feels this exhibition demonstrates the fundamentals of sensory perception, and also shows how science will help us to further the understanding of the world around us. For the exhibitions department, it is a step in their journey to bring science to the larger community in ways that are accessible, engaging and rich in content.

Project Details
Design Team

Elizabeth Anderson (designer), Eleanor Kung (designer), Joshua Marz (designer), Michael Prisco (designer), Emma Fleming (intern), Catharine Weese (art director), Lauri Halderman (creative director, vice president for exhibitions), Michael Meister (exhibit design, director of exhibit design), Cine Ostrow (designer), Toni Gabor (production manager), Ron Demetrio (graphics coordinator), Robert DeSalle (curator), Margaret Dornfeld (editorial team), Martin Schwabacher (editorial team), Sasha Nemecek (writer, associate director of exhibition interpretation), José Ramos (photo research)

Project Area

7,500 sq ft