Connexions. Interactive instalation to discover Science

Science is a network of knowledge where discoveries, ideas and concepts are connected with one another. Connexions is a playful installation where visitors experience, explore and cooperate to visualize and acquire a better understanding of how knowledge is built.

Conceived for Barcelona’s Science Museum, Connexions (Connections) is a museum installation for youngsters from 14 to 18 years old. Through full-body interaction with a mesh of nodes projected on the floor, users create connections between concepts to experience and understand that science is a network of knowledge where cooperation between scientists is essential for its evolution.

On the floor screen, between four and nine nodes are highlighted and labelled with a tag –a concept found within the museum displays–. Some of the highlighted nodes are clearly related and reference one specific object while remaining nodes are not related to that object. By walking around the space children explore the mesh and may activate the nodes related to the object by standing on them. In such case, the nodes are colored showing that the concept is related to the others and to the hidden object.
Children may cause activated nodes to grow extending links towards other activated nodes if they extend their bodies along these paths. The goal is that children link all nodes with colored paths, by physically linking together: holding their hands, extending their legs or arms, touching each other, etc. When all the nodes making reference to the hidden object are linked, a 3D image of the object appears.

Between 8 and 15 children are necessary to activate and link the nodes and discover the objects. After a while the experience restarts with a different set of nodes, concepts and hidden object.

Client: Cosmocaixa Bcn.
Developed at: Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Experimentation on Interactive Communication group.
Main researcher: Dr. Narcís Parés.
Project develoment: 01.09.2006 – 20.12.2006.
Workshop running: 17.02.2007 – currently.
Tasks: idea, design, users detection and museum installation.
Photos: Narcís Parés, Anna Carreras.