Colby College, located in Waterville, Maine, has a progressive and long term commitment to making the College a showcase for green technologies. Colby is a leader in green initiatives, from academic programs to composting, 100-percent green electricity to LEED-certified buildings and geothermal heating.
The Diamond Building, which opened in 2007, is the nerve center for many of Colby's social science departments and interdisciplinary programs. It was important for visitors to understand its green construction principles and was also a great opportunity to raise awareness about environmentally sound building practices.
Colby contacted Image Works to design and create an informational kiosk that would explain in detail the green aspects of the Diamond Building and be a rich visual experience as well. The kiosk would be prominently accessible on a wall near the building's entrance.
The interactive kiosk would showcase Colby's ongoing commitment and results-oriented progressive green building practices.
We met with Colby representatives to identify the goals of the project and the kiosk's major themes. They provided architectural drawings and renderings, as well as content that documented the building's green features in detail.
Our designers organized the kiosk into five major topic areas: classrooms/meeting spaces, offices, restrooms, exterior, and fun facts. We added a global header, "What's green about this building," to clearly label the kiosk's information value and then encouraged exploration by a including a prompt to "touch" a topic area graphic to explore further.
But we wanted to do something more than just present static images and content. We were looking for a direction that would be exciting and visually interesting.
Our designers decided to build a high-definition 3-D movie animation that used the architectural drawings of the building as an intuitive interface. The exposed floors of the building rotate as each topic is selected. In addition, the color palette of the overall design reflects a green natural feeling. Bland information became immediately more interesting because of its presentation.
We used Flash ActionScript programming to elegantly tie it all together, assuring interactive efficiency with smooth playback and small file sizes.
Visitors to the Diamond building can explore its green features by selecting a topic of interest and interacting with a compelling 3-D animation that provides a flow that connects the components of the movie.
Each aspect of the building's green design is described in detail, but moving from one topic to another is enhanced by motion and visually compelling graphics. Natural colors reflect the building's setting and the surrounding landscape, while emphasizing Colby's green priorities.
Using Flash ActionScript positions the College to readily repurpose the animation for use on its web site or elsewhere as a digital asset.
The kiosk has proven to be a stellar addition to Colby's environmentally sound practices. It provides a rich educational experience for parents, students and other visitors to the campus.