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Fabric structure allows science museum visitors to experience the human cell

Fabric Structures, Projects | September 1, 2009 | By:

Science North, a science museum and family attraction in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, wanted visitors to experience the inner workings of a human cell. Its Club Génome exhibit opened in March 2009, a fabric structure and multimedia space where the red glow of blood cells and a hanging nucleus complement up-tempo music and an educational program about genetics.

Fabricating the exhibit challenged Eventscape Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to provide adequate support for the exoskeleton framework, while making the tensioned fabric structure easy to break down, transport and store. A large central oval structure representing the cell nucleus doubles as a projection screen for the main media pieces. Openings in the fabric structure are designed to serve as frames for standing exhibit elements. The “cell membrane” glows from arrays of LED lights that change colors to represent different cell types and functions. The Ontario Genomics Institute, a private nonprofit agency, sponsored the Club Génome exhibit to increase understanding about genetic engineering and its economic benefits.

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