Interactive Sustainable Fishing Exhibit

Project: Research project

Project Details


The world’s marine ecosystems face unprecedented threats directly related to human activity. To address these threats there is an urgent need to raise public awareness about conservation issues and the importance and impact of their collective actions. This project is a collaborative effort of Northwestern University and Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium to create an interactive exhibit on sustainable fishing. The exhibit will be developed and tested by Northwestern’s Tangible Interaction Design and Learning (TIDAL) Lab. Researchers in this laboratory have designed innovative learning experiences in partnerships with many informal learning institutions around the country including the Field Museum, the Boston Museum of Science, and the California Academy of Sciences. The exhibit will take the form of a game that visitors play on a large interactive tabletop surface. In the game, players compete to earn profits by managing a fleet of fishing vessels. Although players begin by competing, they quickly realize that the only way to truly win the game is by setting shared limits on the amount of fish that can be harvested in any one season. The development process will include several rounds of formative testing in which preliminary game designs will be tested with visitors at the Shedd. Near the end of the design effort researchers with expertise in informal learning will conduct a summative evaluation to assess learning outcomes and other impacts of the exhibit. The John G. Shedd Aquarium is Chicago’s most attended cultural destination with two million visitors in 2013. The potential impact of this project will be measured in tens of thousands of visitors a year. Objectives of the Organization The Tangible Interaction Design and Learning (TIDAL) Lab is an interdisciplinary team of artists, educators, learning scientists, computer scientists, and designers. Our research focuses on innovative uses of technology in informal learning settings. We take a cautious but optimistic stance toward technology. To this end our work tightly couples theoretically informed learning research with iterative design processes. The work of the TIDAL lab can be seen at the Field Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Boston Museum of Science, Computer History Museum, and the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
Effective start/end date11/1/1410/31/15


  • Dr. Scholl Foundation (File 14-7068)


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