News

  • Living in Color at the Greene Family Learning Gallery

    Roto collaborated with the High Museum of Art to expand and reimagine the Greene Family Learning Gallery. Roto provided concept design through fabrication and installation services for this new 4,000 square-foot creative space that encourages visitors to think like artists.

    The completely revitalized gallery features two distinct spaces designed on a set of goals informed by years of visitor observation, community input and research. The first gallery, “CREATE,” features a bright and open studio-like space where visitors can hone their creative skills and learn the fundamentals of art. The second space, “EXPERIENCE,” is an immersive gallery where visitors explore what art means, how it makes them feel, and how to use those skills for appreciating art.

    Some of the more prominent activities include a kinetic, gesture-based art interactive where visitors use their whole body to paint on large, digital canvases; a community tree that grows thicker with every hand-drawn “leaf’ added; and a living artwork space where hand movements bring the room to life with a full-bodied, star-filled sky of constellations. Additionally, each space features a “quiet room” with activities designed for reflection as well as an area specifically for toddlers. 

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  • Roto's got a wild side!

    Roto’s world class planning, design and design-build capabilities for interactive museums just got even better. Lyons Zaremba Associates, one of the world’s leading exhibit designers for aquariums and zoos, is now part of Roto.

    Roto’s in-house capabilities now include:

    • master planning support for aquarium & animal exhibits

    • a full suite of professional design services for living collections & life support systems

    • advanced techniques for immersive, memorable & socially-engaging conservation exhibits

    Come visit us at our Ohio headquarters or our new East Coast office!

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  • The Newly Renovated Martin ArtQuest Gallery Brings a Fresh Energy to Frist

    The Frist Art Museum has recently unveiled the new and improved renovation of the Martin ArtQuest Gallery to the public! Roto partnered with the museum to reinvision the space, create a number of dynamic new activities, and refresh some old favorites. With a new Art Deco design aesthetic, an open concept layout, and added capacity, the innovative redesign of MAQ has become an open and inviting space that fosters collaboration and community. The new design aesthetic maintains a balance between sophistication and comfort and draws from art deco-inspired design details found throughout the historic building, Nashville’s former main post office originally built in the early 1930s. In addition to improved functionality of a few time-tested activity stations, visitors will enjoy brand new ones, including a color wall of small dials you can turn to create patterns using the full color spectrum and a sound vibration station that creates sand patterns using different sound frequencies. Added capacity makes room for two large, rotating collaborative art projects, including a fiber sculpture and a transformative media activity that uses interactive technology to create an animation of water colors in epic painting. MAQ makes use of the power of art in a new space to help the next generation of artists find their voice.

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  • NMAI’s ImagiNATIONS Activity Center Reignites Native American Innovation

    The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has officially opened the ImagiNATIONS Activity Center with hopes of explaining the importance of Native innovators and their influence on the Americas through a series of age-appropriate stations. Roto was hired to complete the design and fabrication of this 1,800 sq. ft. permanent bilingual exhibition, targeted for kids and families opened in the museum’s New York City branch as part of an approximately $9 million renovation – the museum’s largest design undertaking since its founding in 1994. While the museum has an ImagiNATIONS center in its Washington building, this new center goes in an entirely new direction with Roto’s designs focusing on creating fulfilling and robust interactivity to withstand New York’s sizable visitor traffic. The center demonstrates the different aspects of native knowledge and how their innovations have made an impression on modern-day math, engineering and science. The physics section includes a mechanized kayak where children try to stay upright in a simulation imitating rough waters, and the architecture section offers a small model igloo designed for children to assemble using Inuit techniques. The center also demonstrates the impression of Native technology and engineering with an installation challenging kids to build a bridge strong enough to withstand an “earthquake” next to the Peruvian-built string suspension bridge.

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  • CMOM's “America to Zanzibar” Introduces School-Aged Children to Aspects of Muslim Cultures

    In 2016, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan hired Roto to complete the design and build of their latest 3,500 square foot exhibit focused on Muslim cultures. Using real-world content and stories as the vehicle, the museum aimed to familiarize school-aged children with the arts, fare, daily customs, and professions of numerous Muslim cultures around the world. Roto’s skilled project and design team put flesh and bone to this content, with an eye for authenticity appearance and accessibility for a young audience. The final product exhibits bright fields of color, architectural elements and highlights of complex patterning reminiscent of some of the featured cultures.

    The center courtyard features a fountain adorned with a backdrop of intricate latticework. Surrounding activities include a musical experience blending the sounds of a variety of instruments from the Middle East, a large dhow (boat) encouraging pretend play as children can fish off its bow, explore ancient trade routes, or hoist items to the above deck using a conveyor belt. A long row of colorful stalls create a suk (market), each representing a different product and country from Muslim culture. Children can try on vibrant fabrics at the Senegalese Tailor Shop, smell spices from Egypt, feel the coarse fibers of Moroccan rugs, and see the unique fruits from Indonesia along the stalls of this suk. 

    "America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far" recently received some well-deserved praise from New York Times. Check out the article here.

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  • NMAH Explores Topic Of Innovation In New Permanent Gallery

    This permanent exhibition opened earlier this month as part of the National Museum of American History’s major renovation of the First Floor West Wing, celebrating the theme of “innovation.” Places of Invention invites visitors to explore six diverse stories demonstrating the common features through American history which have served to transform a group of people and resources into a true “hot spot” of innovation. Roto combined unique interactive elements with bold media and graphical treatments, and the design clearly compares Hartford in the 1890’s with Hollywood in the 1930’s; Silicon Valley with the equally-powerful story of innovation happening in the Bronx around the same time period. Places of Invention makes use of the latest techniques for ensuring a fully-participatory history experience for everyday family, group and adult visitors

    Case studies include:

    - precision manufacturing in Hartford, Connecticut, in the late 1800s

    - technicolor in Hollywood, California, in the 1930s

    - medical innovations in Medical Alley, Minnesota, in the 1950s

    - hip-hop’s birth in the Bronx, New York, in the 1970s

    - the rise of the personal computer in Silicon Valley, California, in the 1970s and 1980s

    - clean-energy innovations in Fort Collins, Colorado, in the 2010s

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  • "Curiocity" Now Open At The Science Museum Oklahoma

    Designed as a quirky village, CurioCity measures 20,000 square feet and is larger than 95 percent of all standalone children’s museums in the nation. The exhibit features eight unique “neighborhoods” and hundreds of hands-on, interactive elements in which families can explore music, risk-taking, performance arts and more. “Neighborhoods” such as Spark Park, Wunderground and Tinker Works get families working together to build, dig and explore science in unexpected and entertaining ways.

    Thematically, the gallery (all constructed by Roto’s fabrication team) is full of clever building facades to look like alien space ships, giant stacks of books, over-sized antique radios, or other “curious” elements. 

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  • New Aviation Exhibit In Wichita Has Started To Take Flight

    Exploration Place officially announced their plans for a new 5,000 square foot aviation exhibit, creating a focus on the engineering and manufacturing of aircraft. Situated in Wichita, a worldwide hub of business-class aviation (home to Cessna, Hawker-Beech, Leer, Boeing and others), Exploration Place has been working with Roto since 2011 to develop the new "Design, Build, Fly" exhibit. The museum has raised about $500,000 toward its $2 million goal for the new exhibit. It's scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.

    Roto provided a comprehensive plan for how to do it, including a complete design study using authentic airplanes, modified in specific ways to accommodate engaging new interactives and advanced simulation experiences. Roto acted as both designer and also as facilitator of a vast community project, which now stands ready for final design and implementation. "Design, Build, Fly" will allow visitors to climb inside a deconstructed business jet, experience what it's like to design a plane and watch what happens on a manufacturing plant floor through Exploration Place's new permanent aviation exhibit.

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