May 8, 2017 San Jose, CA-- The Tech Museum of Innovation has earned one of the nation’s top honors for museum experiences. BioDesign Studio, an exhibit The Tech opened in 2016, won Silver for Interpretive Interactive Installations at the Media and Technology MUSE Awards, presented by The American Alliance of Museums at a celebration Sunday night.
“We developed BioDesign Studio to make bioengineering playful, fun and approachable. We’re thrilled to have national recognition of this ambitious effort,” says Anja Scholze, Experience Developer and Program Manager, Biotech & Health, who accepted the award at AAM’s annual meeting. “It was a daunting task to design experiences that would empower everyone, from grade-schoolers to retirees, to explore a complex topic like bioengineering. A year later, it’s humbling to see our visitors walk away with a new understanding and enthusiasm for the possibilities of biotechnology and their own role in it.”
BioDesign Studio is a permanent exhibit with an array of hands-on experiences that encourage visitors to play, tinker and design with the building blocks of life. At the Creature Creation Station, visitors use custom blocks representing genetic traits to build creatures and unleash them in a digital world where they interact with other organisms. In the Living Colors Lab, they use real lab equipment to alter the DNA of bacteria to change its color, and in the BioTinkering Lab they participate in bioengineering projects like creating bricks using mycelium, or mushroom root, a sustainable building material. The goal is to spark a sense of wonder about the world’s most complex technology: biology.
“Bioengineering plays an important role in solving many of the world’s biggest problems like hunger and climate change. We’re so happy to see BioDesign Studio visitors not only learning about synthetic biology, but starting to see their own potential to create with it,” said Gretchen Walker, Vice President of Learning at The Tech.
The MUSE Awards competition received more than 200 applications from a wide variety of institutions in North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. This year’s entries included videos and films, interactive kiosks and installations, VR experiences, applications and APIs, digital communities, websites, audio tours and more.
"We're so pleased to have received this recognition- we worked hard with the brilliant team of scientists at The Tech to create an exhibit about synthetic biology that could last 10 years. We can't wait to see the new life forms, biological and digital, that visitors create in the years to come," said Ben Millstein, Communications Manager of Local Projects, a New York firm that helped The Tech design the exhibit.
Over 90 GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) professionals from across the globe participated as jurors in the process of reviewing and scoring entries. Winning programs demonstrate outstanding achievement in their content, interface, design, technical merit, innovation, utility and appeal.
Now in its 28th year, the MUSE awards competition recognizes outstanding achievement in GLAM media and technology efforts. The competition is led by the American Alliance of Museums Media & Technology Professional Network. For more information about the MUSE awards, visit: http://aam-us.org/about-us/grants-awards-and-competitions/muse-awards
Media Contact: Marika E. Krause | 408-591-0027 | firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum — located in the capital of Silicon Valley — is a non-profit experiential learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing applied technologies affecting their lives. The Tech Challenge and Tech Awards are signature programs of The Tech. The Tech’s mission is to inspire the innovator in everyone.