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AZA Recognizes Exhibits with Top Honors and Innovation Award

Ideum worked with San Diego Zoo and Monterey Bay Aquarium on award-winning installations.
Authored by
Jim Spadaccini
Founder & Creative Director

We are excited to learn that the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp at the San Diego Zoo won Top Honors for the Exhibit Award, and Into the Deep at the Monterey Bay Aquarium received an Innovation Award in the same category, at the 2023 Association of Zoos and Aquariums conference. Ideum played a role in each project, and it’s exciting to see these dynamic exhibitions getting recognition from the field. Congratulations to all of our partners!

In developing the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp, Ideum collaborated with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA), HGW Architecture, and Deneen Powell Atelier — a great interdisciplinary team of designers, curators, engineers, and architects. The shared vision was to create a unique, thematic children’s zoo space that utilized interactive media in thoughtful ways to help young visitors and families better understand invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles. 

Ideum worked with this team starting in the conceptual phase in 2018 all the way through final installation. Ultimately, we designed and built over 20 exhibits for the herpetology and invertebrate buildings. 

Every group at Ideum was involved in this project. We handled the design and software development, and also designed and installed the AV systems. Ideum collaborated with Elumenati who helped with the dome projection. Our fabrication group designed and built the microscope stations and volunteer station touch tables. Finally, much of the work was done during the most turbulent phases of the pandemic, complicating the production and installation process. 

I am enormously proud of our team (both past and present), for their hard work, flexibility, and creativity which helped make this exhibit so successful. Read more about our work on the project in our portfolio: Interactive Exhibits at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Explorers Basecamp.

Our team played a smaller role in the Into the Deep exhibit developed by Monterey Bay Aquarium. We designed and built a series of fabricated touch screen towers that frame the Aquarium's enormous windows, uniting the interior with the incredible view of Monterey Bay. 

Built with 86” stretch monitors, each capped with a small 33” square monitor, these towers provide a floor to ceiling presentation of photos from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s (MBARI) Instagram feed. Monterey Bay Aquarium created Into the Deep's interactive applications, including for these custom towers which invite visitors to touch each image for more information about its subject and MBARI’s research. Read more about it in our portfolio: Fabricated Interactive Towers for Into the Deep at Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I had the pleasure of seeing the final exhibit last December, which was a great experience. Congratulations to our friends at Monterey Bay Aquarium for their excellent work on this award-winning exhibit.