The Color Visualizer

TellartUnited States


Production / Professional


Tellart, California Academy of Sciences Exhibits Studio (design partner), Group Delphi (fabricator), Dallas Swindle (fabricator)

Project Description

Tellart collaborated with the California Academy of Sciences to create a dynamic multi-sensory display for Color of Life, a permanent exhibition that opened in June 2015.

Color of Life offers visitors a unique perspective on the natural world: vibrant live animals, shimmering scientific specimens, and immersive interactive exhibits invite attendees to touch, see and experience the ways that nature’s colors help us understand and appreciate the health of ecosystems and the interconnectedness of life on our planet.

The Color Visualizer, an eye-catching cylindrical exhibit, sits at the entrance of the 8000 square foot space. By plucking an array of multi-colored strings, which are layered over the large array of high resolution screens, visitors can explore over 100 unique color stories as vibrant images and short videos appear before them. Strum a red cord, for example, and learn how a male cardinal bird colors his vibrant red feathers with pigments from food; strum a yellow cord and see how a yellow leopard’s spotted coat allows this predator to blend in with shadow and light while moving through tall grass.

The interaction encourages extended engagement and interaction with the exhibit. Visitors and museum personnel alike have spoken about The Color Visualizer’s ability to captivate and educate with its appealing physical interface, matched with the responsiveness of the digital content. In addition to the basic interaction, new behaviors emerge from experimental play on one’s own, or social play with other visitors. Strumming multiple strings in one area shows stories related to the resulting mixed color, other interactions trigger clouds of color “dust,” and all of the interactions are reflected at a larger scale in the abstracted colored leaves that rise up above the exhibit to attract visitors from throughout the exhibition.


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