The Greatest Snow on Earth

An educational and technology driven experience where visitors learn about Utah's world renowned snow.

The Greatest Snow on Earth

Capabilities

Creative, Design, Fabrication, Engineering, Interactive, Software Development

Objective

We were tasked with creating an educational and technology driven experience where visitors learn about Utah’s climate and the unique weather conditions that lead to its world renowned snow. A key requirement was for the exhibit to be adaptable and able to accommodate annual updates to keep its content current and relevant.

Solution

Unrivaled set out to not only educate visitors on Utah’s climate and weather, but to cover the entire life cycle of snow, teaching visitors about all aspects of Utah snow and what makes it unique. This is accomplished through several exhibits which build off of each other and carry on an overall narrative that reinforces and builds upon what visitors learn in neighboring exhibits. At the same time we were careful to ensure that each element could be enjoyed by itself and was effective as a stand-alone experience.

Interactives and visuals strengthened the messaging and stories that were integrated within the exhibit. We used both digital, as seen within the displays, as well as kinetic installations, like the column of snow that shrinks and grows according to the visitor’s selections, to reinforce what guests were learning.

The first aspect of the exhibit visitors see is the floor-to-ceiling video wall featuring actual-size environments and snowfalls. This element is particularly striking because of the reflections in the high-gloss raised flooring that leads to the video wall console. This video wall shows time-lapse animations of snowfalls from the last season and lets visitors see how deep the snow actually falls during some of Utah’s biggest storms. This interactive is easily updated with new measurements and storm data each year ensuring that its content stays relevant. We teamed up with meteorology professor Jim Steenburgh and The National Science Foundation to fact check and supply data for the content of the exhibit

As a museum with over 350,000 visitors a year, Alf Engen needs exhibits that not only appeal to all ages of visitors, but hold up to their abuse as well. As such we designed the controls to each of the interactive exhibits to be as simple and intuitive as possible. We accomplished this by using touchscreen interfaces where appropriate and then relying on over-sized knobs everywhere else. These knobs were custom milled from solid aluminum billets which were then mated to industrial grade components and rotary encoders, ensuring that the user interfaces could take a beating for years to come. Through these spinning knobs kids and adults alike could navigate through the interactives and intuitively discover how to manipulate the experience.