Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle has since been a symbol for the Seattle experience, with people traveling from all over the world to catch the view from its Observation Deck. With more than 1.5 million visitors a year, the Space Needle is the second-most visited public space in Seattle (second only to the Seattle Central Library). Belle & Wissell was challenged to design an interactive platform where memories can be explored and shared, and also provide a way for visitors to leave their mark (bringing significance to their visit).
SkyPad™ is an interactive wall measuring 20-feet wide that integrates with the inner core of the Observation Deck. From start to finish, Belle & Wissell worked in concert with brand strategy agency Creature, Olson Kundig Architects, A/V specialist Streamline Solutions, database consultant Idea Gateway, and the Space Needle’s internal team to bring this project to the Observation Deck.
The Skypad™ interactive wall encourages visitors to make their mark on a 3D global guestbook and to share and browse Space Needle memories. Belle & Wissell designed the Skypad™ interactive guestbook to encourage visitors to leave their mark and visualize the distance and significance of the journey they have taken to get there—via an 8-foot-tall interactive 3D globe.
Meanwhile, visitors can explore 52 years of memories through a photographic installation that allows guests to view and filter memorabilia, early tower design and construction, sunsets, etc. Guests are also encouraged to contribute their own memories by uploading photos through the Space Needle’s website. The SkyPad™ interactive wall blends design and technology to give visitors both the inspiration and ability to share memories and build new experiences together in one of the world’s most iconic towers.
“While there was no shortage of interactive surfaces to consider, this project was the most successful at engaging multiple users at the same time without sacrificing effectiveness or understanding. The ability for multiple users to engage the same well-designed interface and then dive deeper was impressive.”
“The best ideas are the most accessible. Technology can often alienate people, but this simple interface makes the content immediately engaging and people can even personalize their visit to let others know they shared in the same experience.”
Gabe Kean (design director); Thomas Ryun (art director); Edrea Lita (senior designer); Eric Harvey (designer); Sarah Faulkner (studio producer) Edward Tang (technology lead), Scott Thiessen, Seb Chevrel, Alex Maurouard, Erik Hicks (programmers), Serge Bokach (quality assurance engineer)
Streamline Solutions (A/V hardware specialist), Creature (brand strategy partner), Idea Gateway (database consultant)
Schuchart (general contractor) Olson Kundig Architects (architectural Integration), Lockwood & Sons (prototype fabrication)