By Bika Rebek
Can 3D scanned models help in engaging museum visitors through interactive experiences? How can audiences discover spaces that are inaccessible due to safety reasons or physical limitations?
I have long been thinking about these questions, building interactive apps as part of my architectural and exhibition design practice called Some Place Studio. In Spring 2019, I had a chance to teach a seminar at Columbia GSAPP to explore these questions in further depth with a group of talented students.
The seminar Tools for Show takes these questions as a starting point to create interactive prototypes for storytelling and architectural communication. Discovering multiple identities, qualities and values of an entity through its replication, students were asked to create a series of virtual and analog duplicates throughout the semester.
Using photogrammetry, the class carefully scanned the currently inaccessible Sick Bay of the Intrepid, a former aircraft carrier turned floating museum. Digging into the archives, students excavated stories surrounding the Sick Bay to creative games, quizzes, interactive experiences, and AR apps. The projects are documented online using Tools for Show, creating a virtual archive of the 3D scanned spaces and the stories surrounding them.