Zoo in You: The Human Microbiome

Background 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded OMSI funding to create a 2,000 sq. ft. bilingual (English/Spanish) traveling exhibition exploring current research on the human microbiome and the impact of our resident microorganisms on our health.

Challenges 

Find expert advisers in the field of microbiome research to partner with OMSI on content development. With support of formative visitor evaluation data, translate unfamiliar cutting-edge science into stories and experiences that are engaging for families and school groups. Create bilingual, family-friendly exhibits that playfully explore our invisible inhabitants and foster positive appreciation of our inner microbial life.

Solution 
Research & Development

As microbiome research is a technologically complex and rapidly advancing field, OMSI partnered with the J. Craig Venter Institute, a national leader in research on the human microbiome. OMSI's exhibit developers worked directly with research scientists to craft accurate and relevant stories and experiences for visitors.

Bilingual

Zoo in You: The Human Microbiome was co-developed in Spanish and English by native speakers. Since two languages automatically double the amount of text, the project team used innovative strategies to communicate information visually and reduce the amount of text.

Design

OMSI designed this exhibition to be playful, colorful and attractive. The human microbiome can be difficult to fathom—it’s a pervasive and essential part of us, yet it’s invisible and difficult to detect. Designers created interactive exhibits that are easy to use with bold, eye-catching graphics to create an appealing experience for a wide audience range.