Made in Cincinnati

Made in Cincinnati

Object Theater and Exhibit Interactive
Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati – 2022

Made in Cincinnati explores the city’s inventors and laborers, the products they developed, and the markets they transformed.

At the center of the exhibit is the object theater Cincinnati Makes Things Better. This quirky, fast-paced show highlights several of the people and inventions to which the Queen City lays claim. Topics include machine tools, pork processing, Crosley radios and WLW, King Records, Black inventor Granville T. Woods, the Warner Elevator Safety Catch, and the first steam-powered fire engine.

To add to the charm, the show is narrated by a personified flying Lego pig, which is an object from the Cincinnati Museum Center’s collection. Several other objects from the museum’s collection are also featured throughout the show, including a giant cast-fab ladle from a Cincinnati foundry. As the museum’s director put it, the show is a “love letter to Cincinnati.”

Role:
Producer, Director, Sound Designer, Media and System Design 

Editor: Ned Hurley
Lighting designer and programmer: Jesse Cogswell
Exhibit development, design, and fabrication: Science Museum of Minnesota

In addition to the object theater, Heinzen Media also animated, edited, and programmed an interactive for the Made in Cincinnati exhibit called Wartime Pivots. Visitors press a large button under a screen to “flip” a Rolodex-like set of cards. The animation stops on a clue and visitors guess which industry matches by pressing the button next to its graphic.

Seeing Birds

Seeing Birds

Exhibit
Bell Museum, St. Paul – 2022

The exhibition Seeing Birds integrates art, science, and nature to ignite curiosity and wonder about the beauty and biology of birds, engaging visitors in an exploration of birds, their environments, and their evolution. It focuses on critical research on birds from the University of Minnesota, reviewing advances in our understanding of birds made through careful observation of their behavior and habitat and revealing current research that advances knowledge of our changing world.

The multimedia experiences in the exhibit are simple, yet effective.  A large-scale projection of starling murmurations captures visitors’ attention right at the exhibit entrance. Around the corner, another projection depicts the majesty of bird movement with a montage of birds flying, diving, and swimming. A kiosk holds four original short videos about bird research at the University of Minnesota, featuring Bell scientists and graduate students.

One of the fan favorites is a projected animation depicting the evolution of bird traits in dinosaurs and the eventual explosion of bird diversity through an artful animation. A nearby touchscreen interactive allows visitors to see if they can identify the closest bird relatives to a given species and then reveals sometimes hidden connections based on current DNA evidence. Finally, an audio environment with urban sounds and birds prompts visitors to hear what our world would sound like without birds. Pushing a button mutes the birds, leaving only the din of the urban landscape.

Seeing Birds was on view from January to October 2022 at the Bell Museum.

Role:
Producer, Creative and Technical Direction, Editor, Media and System Design

Research video co-producer and videographer: Cully Gallagher. Additional videography by Emily Dzieweczynski.

Closest Relative Interactive was developed in collaboration with Drumminhands Design.

Bird silhouette animations by Jacob Seal.

Exhibit development, design, and fabrication: Outhouse Exhibit Services.

Research Videos

You Are Here

You Are Here

Exhibit
Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati – 2020

You Are Here shares stories of Cincinnati’s history – its people, places, traditions and struggles – that spark curiosity about how life in the city was, is and can be. The gallery is centered around three themes: Living Here, Working Here and Playing Here. The exhibit features several multimedia installations.

Street Murals are a big deal in Cincinnati. In the Mural Studio, visitors can take their photo, design a mural, and then send it to a large rotating projection on the wall. Kinect camera technology crops the background from the visitor photos without a green screen.

Cincinnati Counts asks visitors a series of playful questions. Visitors can take their photo or select an avatar, answer the questions and then see their image along with those of other visitors projected nearby. The projection rotates through the questions and the visitor images cling to their chosen response.

Quizinnati is a four-player multiple-choice quiz game that tests visitors’ knowledge of Cincinnati trivia. There are five games with six questions each, narrated with spirited energy and enhanced with imagery and film footage.

The news desk invites visitors to play TV anchor. Visitors sit at the news desk, select a story, and read from a teleprompter. Their composited image complete with supplemental over-the-shoulder graphics is displayed on the other side for friends to enjoy.

Other media elements include a loop of historic home movies and an interactive time clock where visitors can “punch in” for work and learn a bit about Cincinnati workers.

Role:
Producer, Creative and Technical Direction, Editing, Authoring, Media and System Design 

Mural Studio and Cincinnati Counts were developed in collaboration with Ideum.

Quizinnati was edited by Ned Hurley.

Exhibit development, design, and fabrication: Science Museum of Minnesota.

Our Home Native Minnesota

Our Home Native Minnesota

Exhibit and Communication Media
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul – 2019

Our Home Native Minnesota shares the stories of the Dakota, Ojibwe, and people from other tribal nations who have dwelled on the land we know today as Minnesota for thousands of years and still live there today. The exhibit includes stories of survival, resilience, enduring presence, and deep connection to the land.

In addition to featuring a wide range of objects, it is also rich with multimedia. Experiences include introductions to both Dakota and Ojibwe homeland, a large projection in a central reflection space featuring landscapes, places, and traditions both past and present, a video kiosk with stories about the Dakota hymnal, and an interactive depicting Dakota and Ojibwe placenames throughout Minnesota narrated by students from the Bdote Learning Center. Multiple placenames are also projected with gobos on the floor throughout the exhibit.

Role:
Multimedia Director: Creative and Technical Direction, Media and System Design
(On staff with the Minnesota Historical Society)

Sign Design

Sign Design

Multitouch Interactive
Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul – 2017

Sign Design is an interactive experience that allows children to create an electronic sign using a palette of shapes, objects and phrases and then post it to other monitors in and near the Our World exhibit at the Minnesota Children’s Museum. This interactive is part of the museum’s major renovation and new exhibits that help children “to think creatively, make plans, analyze problems, tackle challenges, speak and listen, work as part of a team and more.” Sign Design was developed in collaboration with Ideum.

Role:
Project Direction, System Design, Installation

Suburbia Touch Table

Suburbia Touch Table

Multitouch Table
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul – 2015

The Suburbia Touch Table told the story of suburban expansion that has occurred since the mid 20th Century in the area surrounding Minneapolis and St. Paul. Utilizing a considerable collection of aerial photography of the Twin Cities, the table allowed users to view change over time in the areas surrounding seven shopping malls, which represent diverse geographic regions around the Twin Cities suburbs. Users were able to select a mall by dragging its logo into a viewer, and then slide through five different years of that mall and surrounding area, as well as pan and zoom on each image. An additional layer displaying highway and landmark overlays could be toggled on and off as a point of reference and an info button brought in brief information about each era on the given map set.

The touch table experience was developed in collaboration with Ideum and the final interface was the result of several iterations of interface designs and user testing. The interactive was originally developed for Suburbia, a short-run exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. It also made a brief appearance in the Then Now Wow exhibit at the History Center.

Award:
Silver, Interactive Kiosks, 2016 American Alliance of Museums MUSE Award

Role:
Multimedia Director: Creative Direction, User Experience Design
(On staff with the Minnesota Historical Society)

Play the Past

Play the Past

Mobile Game
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul – 2014, 2017

Play the Past was an engaging student-directed field trip experience supported by technology. Students used iPods to explore the Then Now Wow exhibit. They entered historical situations and, through critical thinking and collaboration, earned badges and collected digital items for later use. Back at school, the interaction continued, as students and teachers built upon the experience through further research and classroom activities.

Interactions within Then Now Wow included earning a day’s wage in an iron mine, playing the role of a hunter or clerk and making trades in an 1800s fur trade environment, exploring contemporary expressions of longstanding Dakota traditions, and surviving life on the prairie in a sod house. The game was integrated with physical interactives in the exhibit so that players received real-time feedback on their devices when interacting with exhibit components. They could also trigger events through the game to change the exhibit environment, such as a locust storm in the sod house.

In 2017, the game expanded to the Minnesota’s Greatest Generation exhibit at the Minnesota History Center. The expansion added three new hubs: Depression, War, and Boom to complement the content in that exhibit. Augmented reality functionality was also added, allowing students to meet characters in historical images and find enemy threats in a giant wall mural.

Play the Past was developed in collaboration with Field Day Learning Games and utilized the ARIS platform for the in-gallery app experience. The original experience in Then Now Wow launched in 2014. The game was discontinued in 2020.

Awards:
Bronze, Education Category, 2014 American Alliance of Museums MUSE Award
2014 AASLH Award of Merit

Role:
Multimedia Director: Creative and Technical Direction, User Experience Design, Physical Interactive Integration, Media and System Design
(On staff with the Minnesota Historical Society)

Then Now Wow

Then Now Wow

Exhibit
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul – 2012

Then Now Wow is an episodic Minnesota history exhibit exploring the regions and cultures of the state featuring over 20 multimedia components. Multimedia highlights include a Dakota tipi featuring contemporary artist and storyteller Bobby Wilson, an interactive iron mine allowing visitors to explore the dangerous jobs within, a sod house environment with digital scenery outside the windows depicting changing seasons and a locust storm, an Ojibwe boarding school environment juxtaposed with student stories from a contemporary Ojibwe school, and Broken Promises multimedia interactive putting users in the position of the Dakota having to make choices about signing treaties while giving up land and ways of life. An online version of Broken Promises is available here. Even though Broken Promises is a 10-minute experience, analytics built into the interactive indicate that 70% of visitors consistently make it all the way through the interactive.

Award:
Award of Merit, 2013 American Association for State and Local History

Role:
Multimedia Director: Creative and Technical Direction, Producer, Media and System Design
(On staff with the Minnesota Historical Society)