Turbine Hall at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a magnificent space built in the 1920’s and originally served as a PGE Power Station. Though extremely popular with guests, this portion of the facility, now listed on the National Historic Registry, has become dated and its exhibits lack a clear focus or intuitive wayfinding strategy. We partnered with Dangermond Keane Architecture to re-imagine the Turbine Hall and design a new experience focused on design thinking and problem solving. The project includes creating a phased execution strategy to roll-out the remodel over several years.

  • Intuitive narratives.
    Upon entry, clarify the purpose of the space and invite participation with a clear sense of what to do or where to go next. Do so without over-mediating the experience.
    Create awareness of goals and progress with clear and immediate feedback. Allow for varying levels of time and experience investment in the hall.
    All signage – themes, directions, labels – should be a natural extension of the new design and contemporary materials. Properly designed and applied, the signage will provide intuitive guidance rather than scripted experiences in the Turbine Hall.

    Interactive Experiences.
    Provoke questions by engaging as many senses as possible in immersive, interactive experiences.
    Design the test beds to be so engaging that people lose themselves in a state of flow. Being lost in the moment fosters the freedom to jump into new experiences without fear.
    The experiences will be rewarding and rich whether groups are testing solutions together or being explored individually.

    Reflective Spaces.
    Provide quieter spaces that encourage reflection and deepening understanding of experiences in the main hall. Facilitate looking outward to the known and unknown, the present and future.

  • New stair experience
    A new stair separates the 1910 Hall from the 1929 Hall. It is support for the art light curtain replaces the old bridge and stair. The new stair provides access to the mezzanine by way of an immersive art experience.
    Interactive scrim
    As visitors move throughout the new stairs, movements trigger sensors that set light, form, and ambient sound undulating slowly across the scrim.
    Activating the scrim with colored light transforms the wall into an interactive experience that can be seen from anywhere in the hall, and invites museum visitors to explore the stairway and Phenomenal Installation beyond.
    The scrim can be programmed to accommodate different content: data driven by phenomena in exhibits, a live video feed of a NASA event on a distant planet, or the results of a computing project created in a design challenge bay.