2 Hour digitally guided museum installation

two photographs of a screen, speakers and lights connected together

The Adv needed an immersive experience using a bespoke device they called the Empath Axis. This device would turn their unique content and two hour process into a scalable experience that can be installed anywhere and run without moderation.

My role was to provide technical and interaction design expertise and develop the entire digitial experience, all software and hardware. I used multiple prototypes throughout the project to share progress, ask questions and make changes to the experience along the way.

The end result are five self-running devices that entertain, educate and empower participants. Each device immerses eight people in debate and collaboration, records the critical moments of conversation, saves all data in an archive and powers The ADVs public institution and private consulting work.

I developed the main interface using Vue.js to create a smooth and reactive experience. My first prototype showcased all of the pages based on the original designs, smooth but obvious transitions, background audio that fades for each section, and how someone interacts with the main interface elements. I created a web accessible version first, but once I needed to test how the app integrated with the final hardware I switched to short videos.

Participants are shown a scenario (pre-determined by the institution hosting the session) and guided through several excercises to collectively decide their roles, targets, tactics and share their views and lived experiences. Each group must choose to advocate for or against an approach, the interface, hints, tips and content then changes to adapt to their decision.

For audio immersion and to keep groups on time, every page has a specific duration that matches the segment in the two-hour soundtrack. I built a timer that overlays additional audio before the end to encourage people to finish each segment. All data is saved when the page automatically transitions and there is a chance for people to return and update anything they feel the need to.

electronics and cables for 8 screens, speakers and controls arranged on a floor
Each device had 8 arms and was designed to unfold and plug into a single power outlet with no technical setup
electronics and cables for a computer arranged on a table
Each device uses a Raspberry Pi and Node.js server to trigger automatic recording using an embeded 360˚ microphone

I started with the minimum elements necessary to test every technical feature of experience (interface, recording, sound, bluetooth input). This allowed the client to immedaitely start testing early versions of the experience. Then I could scale up by 8 and create a fully working device, and then scale up again to produce the remaining 4 devices.

electronics and cables for 8 screens, speakers and controls arranged on a floor
I created several prototypes to find the best organisation of custom and preconfigured power, audio, visual and electronic cabling


The ADV can now engage up to 160 participants in a physical setting each day instead of 40, and has successfully run events for private and public sector clients including Southbank Centre, Chatham House, NHS, Meta, World Economic Forum, Victoria & Albert Museum, and The National Gallery.

a quote and photo of people sitting in groups looking at a screen