Science Museum

Carbon Cycle
AR Interactive

An inventive way to help people understand a topical environmental issue.

The Challenge

Distilling the complex issues and factors relating to our planet's carbon cycle as a starting point, the Science Museum required a visitor interactive that delivers an engaging experience to a broad visitor demographic. The outcome should offer instant playability, an engaging game mechanic and teach people in a light touch manner what the carbon cycle is and how man-made and natural elements can affect its balance.

Services

Interactive
AR
Game design

“Rather than telling people what the carbon cycle is, we wanted them to discover and explore it for themselves through play.”

The Solution

Rather than telling people what the carbon cycle is, we wanted them to discover and explore it for themselves through play. We also wanted a more tactile 'hands-on' experience. We developed an interactive Lego-like kit made up of physical and digital components that encouraged users to build their very own carbon cycle. The user places AR blocks on a printed grid that is reflected on an adjacent screen featuring a virtual island. Different blocks relate to different man-made and natural elements. When a block is placed on the physical grid, the relating element animates onto the digital island. Different man-made and natural elements affect the carbon balance in different ways, with the aim of being able to to add and remove these elements to reach a stable carbon cycle.

The Outcomes

This interactive features in the Atmosphere Gallery along with five other digital interactives we created. It enjoyed over 700k visitors in just one year and continues to be one of the Science Museum's most popular destinations.

Interactive Advertising Honoree (Augmented Reality)
The Webby Awards

"A controversial subject has been demystified in an entertaining way."
Janet Street-Porter, Independent on Sunday

Museums & Heritage Award

Design Week Feature

Augmented Planet Feature

BBC News Feature

Wired Feature