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Shannon O’Neill has made a natural history exhibit with moving and light-up creatures for a more life-like experience. Called The How + the Why, Shannon describes the project:

I was inspired by vintage How + Why Wonder books to create a fictional natural history museum display with animated creatures. Each creature is a combination of real taxidermy, hand-sculpture, and electronics. For example, the deep-sea fish is a taxidermy piranha thats jaw was broken off and repositioned at a lower angle with sculpted teeth (among other changes). The butterflies flap their wings, the fish becomes illuminated, and the turtle reveals its second head from within its shell. They are all controlled by hidden Arduino boards.

This piece is part of the undergraduate Design & Technology thesis exhibition for Parsons the New School for Design, and can be seen at the Chelsea Art Museum until the 24th of May. I sure would be more likely to go to the natural history museum if the creatures moved! Looks like Shannon has a bright future in exhibit design innovation.

Parsons BFA Communication Design & Technology Thesis Exhibition

Chelsea Art Museum

Tues-Sat 11-6

556 W 22nd St (corner of 11th Ave)

New York, NY

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Becky Stern

Becky Stern is director of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site: sternlab.org


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