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Natural cycles shape our land

When the Bruce Museum wanted to completely reinstall their Permanent Science Galleries, they turned to Night Kitchen Interactive and Metcalfe Architecture and Design to envision a vibrant and highly interactive experience. Night Kitchen produced seven dynamic, animated touchscreen activities to provide visitors with a unique blend of hands-on interactivity and in-gallery immersion.

A showcase of the climate information presented in the interactive.

A set of different animals on a white background.

Four touchscreens introduce the recurring theme of natural cycles, ranging from the familiar, such as daily tides, to the abstract, such as orbital cycles. By exploring each animation on a timeline, Visitors draw connections between the forces that drive natural cycles and their observable impact on daily life. The new Science Lab includes a 4K projector that displays the cycle animations on a large wall, complete with narration and music.

A group of fish swimming across the screen with explanations about how fossils form.

Photograph by Paul Mutino

Located in the Paleontology gallery, a unique immersive installation uses a semi-transparent, “holographic” touchscreen to bring the fossilization process to life. An actual fish fossil mounted inside the digital casework forms the backdrop to a realistic 3D fossilization animation. Visitors progress through the sequence as the fish falls to the bottom of a lake bed, mineralizes, and is uncovered as a fossil millions of years later. At the end, the animation fades away and the true fossil is revealed behind a pane of glass.

Night Kitchen produced an interactive light-and-sound show that takes visitors through the daily cycle of a New England forest for the Bruce’s updated woodland diorama. Subtle lighting shifts transform day to night, with gobo projectors evoking moonlit foliage in a cool midnight scene. A soundscape of local sea birds, frogs, and coyotes fills the room with natural ambience.

Photograph by Paul Mutino


I enjoyed seeing how the earth looked millions of years ago and seeing how it will look in millions of years!

U.S. Middle School Student

The interactive was very enjoyable as a user. The graph didn't just model what the supplementary text said but it actively enhanced the text.

U.S. College Student

I love the hooded merganser's 'hood' going up and down. That made me chuckle.

U.S. Middle School Student

I liked learning about the difference between songbird migration and duck migration. The contrast kept me engaged.

U.S. High School Student