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Fabric space portal takes visitors to outer limits

Graphics, Projects | October 1, 2011 | By:

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium draws tourists from around the world to see out-of-this-world space exhibits and displays. When the museum launched its first major renovation since 1967, tensioned fabric manufacturer Fabric Images Inc., Elgin, Ill., went into warp drive to develop indoor environments that would take visitors to the outer limits. Fabric Images engineered and constructed a fabric space portal and gallery for the Adler’s Deep Space Adventure exhibit, creating a backdrop to interactive presentations in the Clark Family Welcome Gallery and leading people into the Grainger Sky Theater. “The organic nature of fabric architecture was a perfect marriage to enhance the ‘wow’ aspect of the newly integrated projection system that is one of the new highlights in the Deep Space Adventure,” says Fabric Images president and CEO Marco Alvarez.

Fabric Images uses 120-inch seamless dye sublimation printing, a crossed-linked process that reproduces the vibrant colors of planets and satellites in grand scale. The company’s comprehensive fabric library, including poly-dimensional sensory textiles that can be touched, provides a range of tensile fabrics that can be shaped by aluminum frame architecture to create unique environments. According to the Adler, “Audiences will encounter the Universe at a level of realism that can only be surpassed by actual space travel.”

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