The Franklin Institute Wondrous Space

Transporting guests to distant horizons through lighting design

The Franklin Institute’s (TFI) Wondrous Space is a new immersive space experience spanning over 7,500 square feet and offering guests a captivating journey of the possibilities and phenomena of space exploration.

The exhibit is the first in a series of thematic exhibits by TFI that challenge the traditional method of teaching science and incorporate themes including space, the human body, earth systems, the built environment, advanced machines and robots and computer science.

EXP worked collaboratively with the TFI team and MDSX to navigate through challenging existing infrastructure in a historically significant building and execute the lighting design. The team’s goal for Wonderous Space was to re-think the traditional way we approach a museum exhibit and push the boundaries to create an attraction that captivates.

Through theatrical lighting design, the EXP team inspired wonder in the guest experience and build intense curiosity about space and everything beyond our horizon. Using advanced programmable LED technology to push the limits of our imaginations, EXP created immersive moments, forever altering how guests view the night sky.

As guests move through the first level of the exhibit, they interact with scenic elements about the insights of space such as Wonders of the Universe, Asteroid Alley and Black Out. The show elements illuminate upon trigger, causing a spectacle of colorful light. Transitioning to a contrasting upper level, guests explore the impact of design and technological innovation through space exploration.

The lighting design emphasizes cutting-edge advancements and artifacts of space, and highlights main attractions such as the Mars rover simulator, Mars globe, space station, launch pad and space artifacts on loan. Using show controls, theatrical luminaires and integrated LED lighting, the team created an active and dynamic design.

Lighting design required a symbiotic relationship between light and shadows. The team achieved their goal of transporting guests into a whimsical celestial realm of expedition and learning. The design drew inspiration from true elements of space and futuristic and technical precedents such as the International Space Station.



Lighting Design

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