Roto Smithsonian Sackler Freer Gallery


Roto represents a new generation of museum planning and exhibition design, revering and restoring the power of traditional, interpretive techniques while delivering dramatic new modes of inquiry, engagement and personal relevance to any cultural, history, or natural science subject.

Roto Ohio Statehouse Constitution
Ohio Statehouse Museum, Constitution, Columbus OH View Case Study →

A fusion of new and proven ideas across the museum spectrum

Roto’s exceptional breadth and versatility bring fresh, interdisciplinary perspectives and capabilities to museums and exhibitions. Roto projects blend techniques in immersive theater, rewarding interactivity, embedded technology, and compelling social participation to amplify both popularity and meaning.

Visitors exploring The Forge gallery at the Science Museum of Virginia - designed and built by Roto
Science Museum of Virginia, The Forge, Richmond VA View Case Study →

Reinvestment in the importance of collections

As a visitor-centered practice, Roto approaches collections and interpretation with a focus on personal relevance. We take on each project with a commitment to pioneering new techniques, promoting active engagement, celebrating authenticity, and embracing intellectual depth.

Roto High Museum Art Interactive
High Museum of Art, Greene Family Learning Gallery, Atlanta GA View Case Study →

Positively excited about the future of museums

An increasingly virtual, video-based consumer culture creates extraordinary prospects. Museums must be eager to evolve and adapt while redoubling their commitment to preservation and scholarship. Roto dramatically reduces the risk of innovation through its depth of experience and unique model of accountability.

“[Roto's] redesign will better meet the evolving needs of our family visitors and enrich learning opportunities with meaningful engagement with art.”

- Eleanor Storza, Director of Education, High Museum of Art


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    Putnam Museum, Davenport, Iowa View Case Study →

    Master Planning

    Roto's planning services include architectural programming and assessment, interpretive frameworks and development, exhibition concepts, cost and feasibility analysis, marketing and fundraising support, and other key strategic functions that enable emerging museums to take the next logical step, and existing institutions to renew their missions and experiences.

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    Milwaukee Public Museum, Stories of Nature & Culture, Wisconsin View Case Study →

    Concept Design

    Exhibition conceptual design assesses existing assets, develops central themes and ideas, revises floor plans, and creates compelling visuals to propel fundraising or the next step in creative design. Outcomes can take the form of colorful illustrations, loose storyboards, or bound and narrated concept books that blend words and images to tell the project’s full story.

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    High Museum of Art, Greene Family Learning Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia View Case Study →

    Exhibit Design

    Roto provides a full spectrum of interpretive development and design services for museum exhibitions, including content research, writing, education programs, architectural design, and A/V integration. We also provide engineering of casework, graphic design, themed environment design, interactives, and media. This versatility is matched by generous flexibility, coordinating Roto's skills with a museum's in-house capabilities and preferences.

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    The National Museum of Psychology at the University of Akron, Ohio View Case Study →

    Interpretive Design

    Roto’s visitor-centered values engender an original and spirited approach to interpretation that is aimed at promoting intellectual curiosity and effective storytelling. We believe that meaning and understanding are enhanced through equal commitments to curatorial scholarship and visitor evaluation, investing in creative conversations and testing with content experts and visitors alike.

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    Science Museum of Virginia, Speed, Richmond, VA View Case Study →

    Interactive Engineering

    Roto's pedigree as a leading source of original, reliable, interactive elements for science centers and children’s museums opens a tremendous new opportunity for collecting and content-based museums to dramatically enhance visitor engagement. The firm's own operations background also enables collection museums to support new approaches to interactivity within existing staff and budgets.

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    Prototyping & Evaluation

    With design, engineering, and fabrication professionals working together daily under one roof, Roto’s design practice naturally incorporates an extensive array of mock-ups and prototypes for interpretive and interactive elements throughout the development cycle. A unique partnership with Dublin City Schools brings hundreds of K-12 visitors inside Roto’s facility (averaging more than one visit per week) to participate thoroughly in these efforts.

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    Canada Science and Technology Museum, Technology in Our Lives, Ontario, Canada View Case Study →


    Roto is both a design firm, and a design-build firm, with equal passion. However, the company evolved its highly efficient design-build model expressly around the opportunities for enhancing visitor participation and engagement with art, objects, cultural stories, historical events, and scientific concepts. For exhibitions requiring deep experiential integration between design, prototyping, and fabrication, Roto offers a single, focused project team problem-solving together under one roof to deliver projects of any scale to guaranteed budgets and deadlines.

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    High Museum of Art, Greene Family Learning Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia View Case Study →

    Media Design

    Media design services at Roto contribute in two primary ways to enhance museum exhibition projects. First, in-house A/V editing, captioning, and encoding enables simple media requirements to be delivered with extreme efficiency and fidelity, supervised directly by a project’s lead developers and A/V integrators. Secondly, Roto's specialized capacity for original interactive media installations, building custom software and hardware systems that employ components like RFID, gesture cameras, range and touch sensors, VR, and emerging technologies not yet in the museum mainstream. These two optional services blend seamlessly with the expert contributions of traditional subcontracted media design firms.