Detroit Institute of Arts Interactive Installations

Detroit Institute of Arts Interactive Installations

Pentagram Design, New York, New York, 2007


Pentagram worked with the Detroit Institute of Arts on new ways to present its permanent collections by using interactive kiosks, video projections and immersive installations.

Books are traditionally displayed under glass, opened to a specific page—a necessary concession to conservation that poses a challenge to accessibility. Three interactive rear-projection digital book kiosks were created, which not only allow viewers to “flip” through the pages of a book but also provide translations and explanatory information. Represented in this innovative format were an Egyptian Book of the Dead, a 16th-century Book of Hours and Artistic Houses, a rare picture book of famous interiors such as the Vanderbilt House and Louis C. Tiffany’s apartment.

Decorative art galleries often seem lifeless and staid, so the designers created The Art of Dining to bring DIA’s collection of 18th-century French porcelain and silver to life. Through an elaborate overhead video projection, visitors sit at a table onto which an aristocratic dinner service is projected. Three courses of historically accurate food are served using the porcelain and silver from the collection on display within the gallery itself.

Antiquities Silhouette is a three-minute animated film that brings to life the ritual of Roman wine drinking. Projected on a wall, the film depicts the mixing and serving of wine while it highlights the vessels on display in the gallery and the purpose behind their various shapes.

Collections: AIGA 365: 29 (2008)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Experience design
Format: Interaction


Design firm
Pentagram Design
Creative director
Lisa Strausfeld
Nina Boesch, Jiae Kim, Kate Wolf
Kate Wolf
Nina Boesch
Mark van S. Studio
Video editor
Francis Oh
Sound design
Scott Lehrer Sound Design
Food production
Anne Ferril
Food stylist
Richard Ellis
Software development
Exhibition designer
ArtGuild (kiosk)
Detroit Institute of Arts