Type(s) of establishment
Type Permanent exhibit
Collection Rare specimens and scientific artefact
The entrance to the new "Hidden Wonders" exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Discover the exclusive world of the California Academy of Sciences vast scientific collections with the new exhibition "Hidden Wonders: Inside the Academy's Collections."
About the Academy
Hidden Wonders brings visitors on a wild tour of some of the most unique specimens from the Academy’s massive and impressive 46-million scientific objects that emphases on scientific discoveries about Earth’s history and biodiversity and inform stewardship for a healthy future. Many artefacts are displayed publicly for the first time since the inauguration of the gallery in May 2022.
For this specific project, we were mandated to design multiple freestanding wall display cases exhibiting objects, particularly collections of entomology, taxidermy and ethnology that normally were "behind the scenes" and not shown to the public.
The Audubon books were originally 425 hand-colored prints. There were over 50 colorist who would apply each color in an assembly line fashion, and they would use Audubon's original painting as their reference.
As these artefacts are very fragile, we needed to provide ultra-airtight display cases with non-off-gassing materials to make sure that the fragile collections do not degradate over time. Also, our display cases had to integrate all the interactive panels and/or podiums with touch screens. The safety aspect was essential for the California Academy of Sciences, considering that it is often families with young children who visit the museum.