Skyscraper! Achievement and Impact


of an Exhibition

by Paul Orselli

Published on July 20, 2007, Modified on November 02, 2010

  • Description:

    Given the monumental scope, both literally and figuratively, of the subject matter, the new Skyscaper exhibition at LSC delivers on both the design and content fronts.

    The visual design of the gallery is striking. Very large (and tall!) graphics of notable skyscrapers from around the world form an impressive entry sequence. From a content standpoint, each of these graphic kiosks serves to elaborate on a particular aspect of tall building construction (green materials, concrete forms, etc.) that the specific building pictured serves as a notable example of.

    Another pleasing aspect of the gallery design that echoes the subject matter is that the exhibition space is on two levels. Large “viewing platforms” reminscent of those found in actual skyscrapers allow views from above, as well as interactive exhibit opportunities that play with the tall building vernacular such as steel beams (visitors can walk across an eye beam) and large construction cranes (the video game crowd can try out a great crane simulator.) Even the ubiquitous post-mounted binocular viewer (free here) is repurposed to serve as an interactive device that allows visitors to select interactive views from skyscrapers around the world.

    The content of the Skyscrapers exhibition while encyclopedic, is paced well, and presented in a variety of complementary modes so that the viewer does not get worn out. Cultural aspects of skyscrapers are presented through artifacts both simple (skyscraper themed knick-knacks) and monumental (surviving pieces of the World Trade Center structure.)

    The exhibition strives, successfully for the most part, to relate the stories of skyscrapers to the human element underlying those stories. So, you get a humorous presentation about “elevator etiquette” as well as a day in the life of a family who makes their home in one of the world’s tallest buildings. Next to a piece of the World Trade Center you get oral histories (with video text.)

    The exhibition is said to be the world’s largest exhibition on the subject of Skyscrapers, and every square foot seems well used.

Latest Comments (1)

large scale

by Kylie Pfeifer - September 18, 2007

Looks like the Liberty Science Center did a great job of conveying the scale of these architectural bohemiths. I am currently in the planning stages of an exhibition of a large-scale outdoor sculptor, so am looking for creative ways to display content without much of the art actually being present. Thanks for some ideas!

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