Thinc Design Receives Honorable Mention in I.D. Magazine's Annual Design Review
Thinc Design received a 2010 Honorable Mention Award for I.D. Magazine’s Annual Design Review, one of the most prestigious competitions in the field. The award, in the Interactive Category, is for The Giant Heart, the physical and emotional center of You! The Experience, a 15,000-square-foot, permanent health exhibition that opened at Chicago’s renowned Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in October 2009. This is the 15th time that Thinc has been recognized by the field for its innovation in design.
This was a complex project. MSI charged Thinc with weaving a number of legacy museum assets into the new exhibit, including the Museum’s popular Walkthrough Heart. A beloved cultural icon in Chicago, the Walkthrough Heart offered a highly memorable experience, yet its static nature made it increasingly less compelling as the years passed. Its 20th-century mode of visualization seemed dated in a cutting-edge science museum. A new, re-imagined version of this prized icon would need to retain the physical impact of the old one, yet achieve a greater sense of realism and a more sophisticated level of content, while capitalizing on the potential of today’s technology. It had to inspire amazement—and it absolutely had to be fun.
“Seeing something as intensely personal as your own heartbeat accurately represented at this huge scale creates a kind of challenge for people in the exhibition,” said Tom Hennes, principal of Thinc. He continued, “They want to see how they compare to other people, and sharing it publicly draws them into conversation about what they're discovering, and what it means about their health. This is the kind of powerful engagement that MSI challenged us to create. Their incredible support, through a year of inventing, prototyping, and testing with colleagues in California, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the UK, made it possible for us to create something entirely new and original. We were thrilled to be recognized by I.D. for this work.”
The Giant Heart is a technological tour de force, combining combines pioneering metal fabrication techniques, highly realistic 3-D anatomical animation, a complex suite of high-resolution projection equipment, and sophisticated digital image blending and warping software. This must-see, must-do interactive experience is immediate, immersive, and gives users entirely new ways to appreciate the workings of the amazing life-giving pump that beats inside all of us.
Measuring over 13 feet tall by 6 feet wide, the heart beats within a dramatically lit exhibition space. As visitors jump up and down to increase their heart rate, the Giant Heart beats faster. If they slow down, the heart follows suit. Peering inside, a host of cardiac functions, such as electrical signals and blood flow patterns, become stunningly visible. And through it all, the Giant Heart expands and contracts with each beat just as it would inside a living human body.
The Giant Heart provides a thrilling sense of amazement to the thousands of visitors who walk through the exhibition each month.
About Thinc Design
Founded in 1992, Thinc Design leads the field in developing and implementing extraordinary exhibitions. The firm strategizes, plans, conceptualizes, designs and builds projects that range from natural history museums, science centers, heritage museums, maritime centers and aquariums, botanical gardens, theme parks and select projects for corporate clients. With new and varied modes of engagement and interaction, Thinc strives to provide visitors with new ways of seeing the world around them, to help stimulate curiosity, awaken feelings, expand their ways of thinking, and ultimately find new meanings and live their lives more richly. Based in New York City, Thinc works throughout the United States and internationally.
For more information, go to www.thincdesign.com.