Monday, November 16, 2009

Mirror, mirror...

You know how birds sometimes crash into windows?
Well, until recently, we had our own version of that at the Museum, with the mirrors near the creature columns in Play Power. We observed that distracted, excited little visitors sometimes didn't see the mirrors as mirrors and walked right into them.
Plus staff saw that visitors seldom noticed the cool visual trick produced by the “flying mirror” (two mirrors placed at right angles): if you stand so that only half of your body is reflected in the mirror, your reflection looks like you’re walking on air.
So the problem was two-fold, and the exhibit team discussed adding a label to draw attention but ultimately decided it would be better to show people how it worked.
Graphic designer Valerie Haggerty-Silva recently painted a child figure on the wall to help kids know where to stand. She also added some colorful circles to show the effect of the symmetry the mirror creates – and to address the bird effect!
And now we watch to see what happens. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be seeing more of this:
And less of this: Just kidding. That is of course a photo of some dramatic play in Bone Zone.
(And while I'm adding things...this is the blog's 100th post!)

1 comment:

MuseumCorps! said...

This is so great! It wasn't just kids and birds gliding into those mirrors - I know I have done it on more then one occasion!

They look beautiful and kids are delighted when the discover the trick to make it look like they are flying!