Reach for the Stars

Craft & Design Music
Reach for the Stars


As part of the Tough Art residency at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, designer Scott Garner created Reach, a large-scale interactive mural and musical instrument. When someone touches both the moon and a star, a tone is played. A “triumphant chord” is the result when all of the stars are touched simultaneously.

“Pittsburgh is a city of bridges, so the idea of spanning or reaching across a space came directly from the skyline,” says Garner. “I was also interested in the idea of noncompetitive play, in which a child could accomplish a goal alone, or by cooperating with their family and friends.”


The panels of the installation are constructed of Baltic birch plywood painted in a textured metallic style. To make the aluminum stars, Garner used the water jet cutter at Pittsburgh’s TechShop. “I spent a lot of time filing them down to make them safer for little fingers.”

As for the final result, “After a few tentative taps, kids are often sprawled across the piece, touching stars with all limbs and giggling.”

For more, visit

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

View more articles by Matt Richardson


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).