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Museum in Singapore Lets You Interact With a Virtual Forest

  • 14
  • 01
  • 2017

Nature lovers can have a one-of-a-kind experience in a museum where the walls transform into a rainforest. It’s no longer necessary to take long flights to visit a rainforest in Brazil or Indonesia or elsewhere in the world. No. You can enjoy a digital rainforest right in the heart of Singapore.

National Museum of Singapore Glass Rotunda Story of the Forest

The Glass Rotunda at the National Museum of Singapore has opened its doors of its Story of the Forest installation, which is based on drawings fro the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings. Visitors will be able to see the same creatures and hear the same sounds as if they were actually in one of Southeast Asia’s tropical rainforests.

Visitors enter the rotunda on the second floor and enter a dark area where they feast their eyes upon a full-ceiling projection of falling petals. Visitors continue their walk through curtains where their attention is immediately centered on laser-projected animals running through a forest. The last section of the exhibit is more interactive and simulates petals raining on each person, and as they move around the area, new trees sprout before them.

National Museum of Singapore Glass Rotunda Story of the Forest

TeamLab, a Japanese digital art collective, gathered inspiration from different sources of Southeast Asia’s ecology to create this fantastic experience.

By trying to maintain a highly interactive environment, the team incorporated sensors to detect the movement of each person inside and have the surroundings respond to their location. To take it a step further, they were inspired by Pokémon Go to create an app that would let users inside the environment find and catch critters as they appear on the murals.

National Museum of Singapore Glass Rotunda Story of the Forest

And those same critters won’t reappear as they would if the animation came from a video that was playing on a loop. Instead, this animation is a computer program that has been designed to react to visitors in real time. So, no scene will be repeated.

“The concept connects the idea of community with nature,” explain teamLab’s founder, Toshiyuki Inoko.

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