Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition is a sprawling 17,000 square foot interactive experience that premiered at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute in early 2021. This marks the brand’s first-ever traveling exhibition which focuses on the goal of tapping into the innate talent and ingenuity of its participants. Each individual makes thousands of creative decisions every single day, and this exhibition aligns the power of the Crayola brand with the creative process through immersive, fun, and colorful state-of-the-art interactives.
Each participant in Crayola IDEAworks receives a completely personalized experience through their keepsake RFID wristband which they scan at barcode readers across more than 30 exhibits. Upon entering the experience, visitors associate their wristband with an avatar and color of their choice. From there, the system tracks each of their achievements, and wirelessly transmits data to the show controller for a seamless, individualized experience.
The exhibition is broken up into two sections, the first of which is the IDEA Workshop (which stands for Identify, Define, Explore and Assess). The IDEA Workshop challenges visitors with hands-on activities to hone their design-thinking skills through four vibrant hubs where participants scan their RFID bracelet, answer questions and complete activities, and earn badges. This section of the experience creates a profile of each participant’s approach to problem solving and decision making.
In the IDEA Workshop, guests pitch a product by filling in blanks, and an animated shark delivers their pitch on screen. Real-time feedback shows how others rate their pitch and if they would buy the product. Participants use foam noodles and connectors to create solutions to three building challenges. The process of planting a garden is visualized step-by-step through a prioritization activity. Quick judgement skills are put to the test in an activity to differentiate between what’s fact, false, or opinion in a fast-paced, timed game.
Once participants step through the Color Wheel Portal, they enter the second portion of the experience: the bustling Colorverse®. This area is full of unique and fun experiences that have educational and scientific concepts at their core. Here, innovative solutions can be applied to actual problems scientists are researching right now. This area includes seven interactive hubs where participants scan their band, answer questions, and collect badges.
The Colorverse® allows participants to become fully immersed in their own creativity. Participants deliver live broadcasts from Mars using greenscreen technology, and turn their drawings into a fashion statement which they are able to “try on” through augmented reality. Guests use their creativity to restore ocean reefs using sounds, choosing good tones and learning what attracts new fish, and also engage in eco-friendly city planning, developing enterprise and efficient transportation.
After earning all of their badges in the Colorverse®, visitors pass through the final Color Wheel Portal and swipe their band one last time to receive a personalized summary of their creative strengths. They receive a personalized sticker for their wristband, which becomes their IDEAworks souvenir. By the end of the experience, participants have been challenged to apply creativity to their problem solving through fun, vibrant, and interactive exhibits, and have received individual insight on how to unlock their personal strengths.
This is the first traveling exhibit that uses a wireless QuickSilver® solution. Wireless infrastructure simplifies the logistics of load out, shipping, and setup at the next venue. There is just one cable that needs to be relocated: it is used to connect the various WiFi emitters together from one small, rolling show controller. The audiovisual system, designed by Mad Systems, is built for travel and convenience with no racks, no bundles of cables, and no need for manual power control. The system is fully automated to power on and off, and all functionality can be managed from a smart device.
Opening an exhibit during the COVID-19 pandemic meant the experience could only run at 25% capacity, but given the vast footprint of the exhibition, this still allowed for 85 socially-distanced guests at a time. The traveling exhibit plans to tour more than thirteen museums over the next five years, projecting between 32,000 to 50,000 visitors per month. Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition is a stimulating experience that is sure to send kids home understanding they are creative and capable of doing great things.
Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition
Best Individualized Experience
Mad Systems Inc.