Build a 3D Melbourne

Scienceworks: Future City

The Challenge

Create a hero piece in the new exhibition space at Scienceworks which allows young visitors, in groups, to create a future city.

The Idea

Challenge visitors to include a physical city with building blocks on a large table - but make it magical. Give them blocks that light up when you put them on the table, and that generate a corresponding 3D building on a 6 metre high screen behind the table. The 3D buildings also respond to changes in the way the block is positioned, so twisting a tall building 90 degrees can change it from a skyscraper apartment block to a vertical farm.

The Tech

Click Suite did everything from detailing the concept through to installation. We built the actual digital table (a unique combination of augmented reality glyphs, infrared lights, toughened glass, and projectors) and created all the software, including the 3-D modelling used in the game. We worked closely with the delightful team from Museums Victoria to develop the experience and to tackle the intense innovation this project required while still delivering a reliable and engaging experience that can be played continuously all day, every day!

The Results

Visitors are given a challenge (e.g. to create an environmentally friendly city) to complete within a time frame. To achieve the challenge, they have to balance the impacts of each building they create on the city and they have to work together as a team. They twist blocks and change the nature of the buildings and the 3-D generated city is changed in real time. It’s typical to sense the growing excitement as they get close to their goals and there’s always lots of yelling between the visitors about what’s needed. The end result is a high energy activity that presents a lovely mixture of tactile play and slick technology.

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