Zooming into Microplastics 

Immersing visitors in the world of microplastics

An immersive exhibit experience proposal about environmental changes and inspiring visitors to make a change

4 weeks, solo project, 2021



Create a temporary exhibition featuring an issue. Consider how technology can augment content, increase learning and/or make the museum experience more interactive.

Hover your mouse over this to see how the floor moves around you. This may not properly scale on mobile devices. 

Walkthrough video

The visitor journey

As a visitor enters the exhibit, the lighting changes drastically as they enter this immersive and isolated space, priming them to inquire and to observe. Visitors also notice that ground has a moving river that guides them to see the source of microplastics in the ocean. Although not pictured here, the river flows around visitors and obstacles touching the ground.

As visitors walk further, they’ll see a brief introduction that contextualizes the exhibit for them. It is slightly lifted off the ground to create a more open area.

Interactive Floor
The ground moves around the footprint of the microscope, further indicating to visitors that the microscope can be moved. The area around the microscope provides a preview of how a microscope moves around– it builds a spatial relationship between the water around it and the hidden microplastics inside.

Feel free to play with the interactive floor simulation here.

Observing Effects
As viewers move around large coasting microscopes, they see reveal different scales in magnitude of microplastics as they move upstream. At one place, a viewer would see the smallest microplastics using Raman Spectroscopy. Moving forward, they would see plastics smaller than the width of a human hair under a high-powered microscope. At the the very top, they can see lower-powered magnifications of larger plastics.

Tangible Objects
At the back of the exhibit, visitors see the firsthand products that cause microplastic pollution. Text that is in front of the tangible projects explain individual mechanisms of plastic breakdown and discuss major corporate and political entities that are responsible for these products.  

Commiting to Change
Finally, viewers at this point likely want to know how to make a meaningful impact. However, I wanted to disregard common practices of offsetting blame on companies producing waste to an individual.

With knowledge of the companies, practices, and objects that cause microplastic pollution, visitors can commit to change by writing on a wall with a post-it note. By seeing the collective actions of other visitors, the existing paradigm of individual blame for pollution changes in context.