ISEA — Exhibit Design

As the ISEA Conference approached all hands have turned to making a Hidden Ecologies presence within the Exploratorium’s Invisible Dynamics exhibit space. We had a 10′ high by 16′ wide wall to work with and have decided that a large nautical chart of San Francisco Bay would serve as the graphic spine of the display. Over this we ‘floated’ a collection of stories offering different views of our three example sites on the Bay.

For context, check the Exloratorium’s recently-posted overview of the Invisible Dynamics Project.

Exploratorium Invisible Dynamics WWW Site

Exhibit design and production

We finshed the exhibit design and production on Monday 7 August.

ISEA Exhibit mounted

The finished wall panel with adjacent computer for demonstrating the collaborative geo-annotation map.

This page was used to post progress notesduring the three-week development of the exhibit. The following items are in reverse chronological order.

Map wall idea:

A notion emerged to center the Hidden Ecologies exhibit around a 10-foot-high nautical chart of San Francisco Bay. The remainder of this page will provide a reverse chronology accounting of the idea’s development.

Saturday, 5 August

After a fair push (he notes sleepily) the exhibit wall is finished and hung in ISEA’s South Hall Exhibit venue. All told I think the idea worked out just fine. That is was realized in final form is in great part due to the sustained efforts of Julia Storek, Misa Sugino, and Wayne Lanier in production.

Exhibit Wall

Thursday, 3 August

We have a tentative layout for the story panel placement. The next stage is the physical production of the panels. Time is getting short.

Story Panel Layout

Saturday, 29 July

Progress is made although you cannot tell it from looking at the wall. Today we wrapped up the last remaining issues regarding the mechanics of production and we have a good shot at getting the final wall assembled by end of day tomorrow. The final plots are made, the substrate located and we have made test runs laminating everything with a dry rubber cement technique. The map surround will be made from seamless photographic background paper.

On the mock up front we have taken a first run at placing the story panel groups. Looks like we will have to reduce the list of stories tomorrow.

Saturday's Wall

Friday, 28 July

We now have a full scale mock up of the map on the wall and seem to getting a handle on the mechanical details. Now comes the big push to get the exhibit content in shape.

Exhibit Wall Muck Up

We gather again at noon tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 25 July


In this sketch the exhibit wall has grown to 10′ high by 16′ wide. The next step is working out a scheme that places each of the stories on the wall in a coherent layout. Before doing this we must tend to the roster of stories and their likely size (in panel modules of 7.5″ x 9″).

Notes so far:

1. A large portion of the wall will have no map texture at all. Here we should draw in the longitude/latitude map grid to reinforce our 7.5:9 proportioning system. Our small story displays will enjoy this less cluttered background methinks.

2. We must make a decision about the background color of this ‘mapless’ portion of the wall. Perhaps key on one of the map’s colors (mudflat?) The background color will probably get there using paint so our substrate should be paintable. And, the paint should take the latitude/longitude line well.

3. Wayne is working on production of the ledger strips. Perhaps they too should be painted the background color?

Thursday, 20 July

Exhibit Sketch

I continue to work on the wall layout and each iteration makes the puzzle more interesting.

Project Coordination

I have started and maintain three rosters about exhibit progress. These are updated daily.

doc image

Hidden Ecologies Exhibit Punch List — a task list in support of design and production
(Word version http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/working/ISEA/PUNCH_LIST_0802.doc)

Note: I rearranged the punch list and its categories on 28 July.

Hidden Ecologies Story Roster — a list used to brainstorm and define story panel details
(Word version http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/working/ISEA/STORY_ROSTER_0802.doc)

Hidden Ecologies Story Status — essentially a punch list for completion of the story panels
(Word version http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/working/ISEA/STORY_STATUS_0802.doc)

You can access a directory listing for an easy interface these coordination documents.

If you have additions or edits then download the Word document, make your edits in red text, and e-mail the document to me. I will merge your changes into the master document post it to the WWW.

Panel / image mounting system:

Sample images

This has been split off and is now on its own page.

One Response to “ISEA — Exhibit Design”

  1. Julia Storek Says:

    Cris, after meeting with you last night and reading this posting of your thoughts, I like the idea of maybe painting out the ledger strips that mount to the wall or using the dado to make them appear less evident. As far as the overall arrangement it sounds like the full-scale mock-up will be most telling for the final exhibit!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.