Bringing History to Life: The Computer History Museum

Exhibit Concepts April 19, 2017

To truly appreciate the present (and future) one must first appreciate history. The Computer History Museum, located in Mountain View, California, with stunning views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, tells the compelling story of how computers and software have evolved. Surrounded by the headquarters of some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Google and Symantec, it’s the ideal setting to pay homage to computing’s significant impact on our society.

The 31,000 square-foot museum is a multimedia experience that immerses visitors in the sights, sounds, and stories of the computer revolution.

The inspiration for the Computer History Museum began with a compelling need: to create an immersive experience for museum visitors that covers the history of computing and also addresses the importance of software. Exhibit Concepts was selected to fabricate and install exhibit components for the Computer History Museum with design by Van Sickle & Rolleri.

The project itself covered two phases and contains two distinct areas:

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Revolution: The First 2,000 Years of Computing tells the history of how computers came to be in our daily lives. The exhibition contains over 1,000 objects in an engaging 25,000 square-foot space. Meant to be interactive, there are many multimedia experiences for visitors including audio and visual presentations, interactive games, and hands-on displays. This space chronicles the history of computing on a global scale, from the abacus all the way to the modern-day smart phone. It also contains one-of-a-kind objects and devices, explained by the innovators who started the computer revolution.

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Make Software: Change the World explore the history, technology, and cultural impact of seven applications, including Photoshop, MP3, MRI, Car Crash Simulation, Wikipedia, Texting, and World of Warcraft. This 6,000 square-foot interactive area of the museum allows visitors to interact with software, testing their texting speed, learning basic programming concepts, and trying hands-on coding.

Whether it’s creating a museum installation or a compelling visitor experience, it’s all about making connections with your audience. Museums are the key to captivate attention, evoke emotion, and inspire action. For a closer look at the importance of education and bringing stories to life, read about our work in The Cold War Gallery in the National Navy SEAL Museum.

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