What do you say when asked by Flying Fish International to design and produce an immersive gallery for Cincinnati Museum Centre? HELL YEAH, that’s what! With more than a few space geeks in the team, it was more than a small step to for Round Table to create an immersive space experience honoring Neil Armstrong.
As the central feature of Cincinnati Museum Center's Space Gallery, the Neil Armstrong Experience is a 360-degree immersive theatre experience that transports guests to the excitement and trepidation of the summer of 1969. The experience was launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, and had assistance from the Armstrong family in the creation of the 10 minute looping production.
Round Table Studio's role in the project was to design and produce the audio and visual system of the experience, and to install the system onsite.
The Neil Armstrong Experience is delivered via a state-of-the-art Dataton Watchout control system, surround sound audio and thirteen large venue high-definition projectors. Designing the system and specifying the equipment for its permanent installation called on our years of experience in projection and exhibition design.
As you can imagine, designing and producing a complex project for permanent install on the other side of the world, like landing on the moon, comes with a few challenges, and the Neil Armstrong Experience was no exception. We worked hard and drew on our curiosity, love of problem solving and all of our technical and practical experience to overcome a number of obstacles in the design and installation.
The greatest challenge we faced when designing the system was a low rigging height for the projectors. Despite the gallery ceiling being over 8m high, a large amount of ducting, exposed pipes and lighting track meant that the available height we had for rigging projectors was only marginally above the height of the gallery wall screens. Low rigging height increased the risk of projection glare in visitors' eyes and also increased the issue of shadows, cast by people on the gallery space falling on the projected surfaces. We overcame this challenge though extensive research of projector models that offered ultra short throw projection with the required lumens to present an engaging experience in relatively high ambient light. We settled on the Epson L1405UNL projector with ELPLX01 ultra short-throw and ELPLX03 short-throw lenses - without them it would have been a very different experience.
Round Table Studio served as the architect of the projection and audio systems... The creative individuals brought in to accomplish this project worked with a challenging gallery space in innovative, often ingenious ways
Sarah Lima, Senior Exhibits Project Director CMC