Interactive Display? My A%$#
We've all been there. Those visitors centres. You know. The one's that make you believe taking a cheese grater to your eyeballs would be more enjoyable. Don't tell me a little piece of you hasn't died when you've seen the words 'interactive display' written on a photocopied clip art flyer. But I found one that will rip your prissy little throat out.
Of the approximately 157,000 visitors centres that were graced with my miserable and sarcastic presence as a pre-teen I seriously don't remember a single good experience. Except the part where we left. So, when I got a call to shoot the new Legacy Way Visitors Centre in Toowong it took all my adult enthusiasm to accept the job with excitement.
I spent the days before pondering how I was going to make it look exciting. However, when I walked in and was greeted with this my jaw dropped. My mood suddenly changed from worrying about how I was going to make it interesting, to how I was going to do it justice.
The Legacy Way Visitors Centre is the brain child of the team at Graetz Media. The term 'interactive display' is still inaccurate because you don't interact with it, it grabs you by the throat and demands your attention. It's centred around the Tunnel Boring Machines, or TBM's that build the tunnels.
The first thing you notice is the updatable map charting the progress of the two TBM's as they carve out their underground lairs.
There's a conference room where the walls are lined with blue prints of the TBM.
And then, there's the TBM itself.
The monster with it's mouth open... Looking all placid and friendly.
You walk up the ramp of the 15 metre tunnel that starts with a mock asphalt roadway and fully lined tunnel. You pause at the mounted touch screens displaying interactive 3D models of key components of the TBM.
You make your way up to a floor mounted LCD screen looping a 3D animation of the process of drilling the tunnel, installing the services (electricity, water, ventilation), stabilising the structure and laying the roadway.
Then the pipes. The pipes in the ceiling draw your eye to the end of the tunnel, towards the sleeping giant; the business end of the TBM.
On the wall to your right is a giant red button daring you to press it.
You slap it with the back of your palm and suddenly rumble packs in the floor send vibrations through your feet up your body. The lights above your head flash and whirl and the noise from surround sound speakers blasts the tune of a TBM in action. Once you've done that five or six (or twenty) times you walk through to the main information area where rock meets the TBM and it's giant red face is staring out at you.
This is no One Armed Left Handed Bee Keeping Society of Australia "Interactive Display". This will knock your socks off.