Monday, May 21, 2012

Footsteps - You! The Experience

Welcome back, readers, and in another issue of Footsteps, we focus on another state of the art exhibit, already mentioned a little way back in this blog as an exhibit of interest, and even for its release a couple of years ago, it still has the inspirational appeal of what Wonders would have jumped for if it was given another chance.
You! The Experience is a successful interactive exhibit, as hosted by the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, and  focuses on the concept of life and health in an expansive take - ranging from the mind and body, through to healthy choices, through to medical innovations, and even in depth to a personal level. Again, because the exhibit is continentally away from my main blogging quarters (*SIGH*), I shall start with a brief summary of the exhibits primary highlights:

  • Your Mind - portraying the mind as the "...main generator of the thoughts, emotions and decisions that can affect your health in big and subtle ways", this part of the exhibit covers the self-portrait (how we see ourselves), as well as techniques to attract our attention (for instance, in advertising), and even an interactive 'brain exploration' game under augmented reality.

    More written information on this technological exhibit of the brain: Augmented Reality - Brain Interactive

  • Your Appetite - encouraging people to be concious of what they feed their bodies, this exhibit is hands-on, especially in fields on comparing different common snack choices (which one is healthier?) and even what's really in their snacks.

  • Your Heart - Considered the most iconic exhibit landmark of the Museum, it is a 13-foot tall 3D interactive animation, and shows many views of the heart, inside and out. Guests can interact by sending over their pulse - the heart on display will beat in time with theirs. Here's a brief video from their official website:

  • Your Beginning - In my humble opinion, if 'The Making of Me' had its own interactive exhibit, but with more artistic merit - this exhibit consists of an interactive display following a mother adjusting to a growing baby during pregnancy, through to a collection of preserved human embryo/fetuses, each per stage of development.

  • Your Vitality - they say that overall health is closely linked to quality of life, so this section is to do with the little things that can help your overall health. The iconic Laugh Garden is the cornerstone of the exhibit (and the epitome of laughter as the best medicine), as well as an engaging game of mindball, in which guests compete against each other trying to move the ball the furthest - the more relaxed the person, the higher chance of succeeding.

  • Your Movement - this section inspires guests to be more physically active in life, regardless of their age or state of health - this ranges through to the assisting (a "sports personality quiz" to help pick which activity you'll enjoy), through to the interactive (the 'hamster wheel' and the motion-capture screen installations)

  • Medical Innovations (ft. iStan®) - the name says it all, this section focuses on the high tech aspects of medical developments (which would have filled the niche for what Frontiers in Medicine), from the bionic, through to medical imaging, and even to some life-changing high tech procedures. Also featuring iStan®, a Human Patient Simulator unit, capable of exhibiting realistic symptoms of medical crises.

  • Your Future - now this part of the exhibit takes an intrapersonal look at how we see ourselves, whether physically (the interactive 'aging' simulation portraits), through to the mental (the interests, hopes and dreams, organised into your very own online bucket-list) and even the experiences of others (from the experiences of centenerians through to your opportunity to contribute a fragment of your life story)

The reason why I cite this exhibit in this blog article is due to its innovative nature; you may recall much earlier in the blog that there is mention of the exhibit as a primary source of inspiration for hypothesising what Wonders would have strived to be had it remained alive and nurtured, rather than shuttered and sentenced into oblivion. In fact, comparing the aesthetics of the Wonders of Life as it was presented since 1989, as well as that of You! The Experience, it seems that the latter has more aesthetic updated potential that Wonders would have pled for (but nobody listened.) Even some components of the exhibit would have inspired me to organize Wonders attractions by group (see Operation Imagineer for a little more understanding), among a few more things.

But honestly, being the distant blogger I am, I do not have the access to try the exhibit in person, so I am inviting you bloggers to leave a comment with regards to You! The Experience, and how it would have helped Wonders of Life still into visitors eyes.

Noting that this summary article is only a page in the book, here are some resources and external blog articles if you would like some more information, or some more pictorial evidence on each of the featured attractions and their technologies.
If you have any information or experiences with the above exhibit (what do you think of it?) or have a request for an externally based human body/health/wellbeing centered exhibit that you would like WOL4EVA to cover, feel free to leave a comment below.

Until next time, readers!

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