by Miranda Due, Project Coordinator April 25th, 2019
In March 2019, the newly renovated second floor of Fort Worth’s National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame opened to the public. Ideum was proud to play a key role in revitalizing the Museum by developing two powerful interactive experiences.
The Western Design Room invites visitors to step into a space filled with colorful moving images to explore designs and artifacts inspired by the American West. Visitors use an Ideum 65” Platform multitouch table to select patterns and textures from the Museum’s collection and design objects such as boots, shirts, or horses. As guests explore combinations and create their own unique items, a massive wall projection changes to reflect their designs. This dynamic digital tapestry is constantly evolving, bringing classic Western motifs to life and inviting visitors to learn about the stories behind the designs.
For this innovative project, Ideum was challenged to create an experience that not only showcases items from the Museum’s collection but celebrates the designs in a cohesive and modern way. The Ideum team collaborated with the Museum to select objects from their collections to serve as a point of inspiration. The tapestry’s images are created by three Christie Digital short-throw projectors and blended with Christie’s Pandora's Box media server. Ideum software developers created the immersive display and design application using the Unity game engine.
Ideum also worked with curators to design and develop a suite of media stations to showcase other artifacts on view and let visitors browse through the Museum’s Cowgirl Hall of Fame honorees. Five media stations are placed on the second floor, each coordinating with a thematic island relating to horses. Ideum also worked closely with the Museum to develop a content management system to allow staff to make updates and add additional artifacts and honorees.
These exhibits were among the first to be prototyped in Ideum’s exhibit fabrication studio after its opening in fall 2018. For this project, Ideum built a full-scale mockup of the Museum’s gallery space to allow our creative team to test layouts, sizing, and function and evaluate the hardware and media blending systems.
We were honored to be part of the National Cowgirl Museum’s historic renovation. This unique project was one of several recent initiatives, including our collaborations with the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium and Cochiti Pueblo artist Virgil Ortiz, that have provided key opportunities to push our work in designing deeply engaging immersive experiences even further.