We were approached by Øhavsmuseet to assist them in planning an exhibit for their new exhibition space. Their original concept was to display a range of static models depicting the erosion of the ice caps and the formation of the Danish landscape. During the design discussions we pitched the idea of building a table with thousands of controllable tubes that will dynamically change their height depicting the formation of the archipelago over the ages rather than a set of static models as this provides a more immersive experience.
This was an idea that truly excited them, as not only would they be able to depict the physical landscape of a particular period, but also allowed them to bring it to life and detail important events (such as early settlers moving their camps due to the rising sea level). This would be achievable through the use of engaging animations mapped and projected onto the table-top paired with an immersive soundscape to create an engaging experience.
The development process took place over several months with several iterative designs to ensure that the final product did not exceed the museums budget. One of the biggest challenges we faced with this project was the change in the delivery date where we needed to deliver the consignment and install it before the December Brexit deadline, as waiting until the new year would have decimated the available budget. Nevertheless, our interest and determination to create this first-of-its-kind exhibit resulted in a great success despite these issues.
The layout design for the module required many different iterations as we needed to ensure that the honeycomb form factor would cover the entire table without having to provide many special edge cases.
The modules are powered through daisy chained quick release terminal connections, and addressable through galvanically isolated RJ-45 connections to communicate with the purpose built server rack.
The table’s main functionality operates through the use of the DMX protocol and any maintenance for the units is handled by the RDM protocol (such as changing the speed of an individual motor, testing individual components etc.).
We developed a system that allows the museum to easily add and change the topographical data used for the table by simply swapping out correlated bitmap images without affecting the rest of the show timings.
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