Population Cycles

Population Cycles is an exhibit developed for The Exploratorium. I worked with the New Media Exhibit Development Department to rework a number of out-of-date exhibits in preparation for the museum's move from the Palace of Fine Arts to Piers 15/17 in 2012-2013. I redesigned the exhibit for use with a touch screen, and re-wrote the application in Processing.

The exhibit mimics a scientific model of an ecosystem, where a visitor can adjust species fitness and lifespan in order to see the resulting population changes. It uses grain, mice, and eagles as an example ecosystem.

The redesign maximizes visitor engagement while maintaining a clear lesson about scientific processes and ecological systems. The exhibit allows visitors of all ages to engage through its intuitive interface. It is both simple enough for a toddler to understand the basic concepts of food chains, and complex enough for adults to engage on a deeper level and understand their effect on natural systems. The exhibit touches on elements of game design, encouraging visitors to seed their own narrative.