Volcanology Field Office

"This is feeling really dry. Any ideas on how we can spice this up?"

We were handed a stack of five photos, some copy about volcanoes, and a collection of old letters. Our team was initially volunteered to simply help get this content up on the walls for an educational exhibit extension, but we saw an opportunity to push it much further.

The Story Behind the Office

Being a big fan of Disney Parks, I started our team with story. Instead of diving right to the environment, we tried to come up with a story for the area and found ways to weave the required content into the over-all narrative.

We crafted the story of two grad students—Clyde and Shelby—left alone to oversee the office while their by-the-books supervisor is out for the day. Their quiet day is interrupted by big readings on the sensors. They've run out the door, but you can explore the office while they're gone!

Exhibit Features


Welcome Recruits

We used the story to craft little moments to bring life to the educational content: little notes and in-jokes that grad students might leave around. That's not to mention the radio on the high shelf playing a collection of volcano-themed hits.


Meet a Volcanologist

Initially a collection of seventeen interviews, we conceptualized these as stories from fictitious volcanology publications. Instead of a bunch of copy and headshots, we produced fake newspapers and magazines that grad students would have hung up proudly in their office.



The Spider

On loan from the USGS, the spider not only showed real tools that volcanologists used, but provided an interactive component. Real-time data—including seismic readings that picked up stomping and jumping—were displayed in proximity.



Our team leveraged SketchUp to test our designs within the space before we committed to them. This allowed us to get a better feel for the size and placement of some items before we went through a printing process that used up our budget.