Nanoland at OMSI

How do you get a new generation excited about nanotechnology — a field in which nothing can be seen with the human eye and the machines are so complex they take up entire rooms and very few people can operate them? 

Electron microscope manufacturer FEI partnered with OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) to create an exhibit that would inspire interest in what FEI's machines allow scientists to explore. Rather than simply tell people about these complex microscopes, OMSI hired our team to think of an alternate way to approach the experience.

We decided the best way to introduce folks to FEI's product was to immerse people to this wonderful and bizarre world by asking them to "shrink down" and walk through the human body, a geothermal pool, and a metal alloy at nano scale. Visitors walked through landscapes based on images gathered from scientists using FEI's electron microscopes.

Since we created the exhibit from scratch, this was a hugely collaborative, interdiscipinary process. Our small team did everything from interviewing scientists, to developing the concept for the exhibit, to delivering floor plans and drawings to the OMSI fabrication team. 


Team: Kelsey SnookLaurence Sarrazin, and Will Bryant
My roles:  research, conducting scientist interviews, concept development, client communication, experience design, content development, editing, and curation, graphic production, concept consistency and alignment