Journey into the brilliant mind of Gaudi

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Casa Batlló, Antoni Gaudí’s Modernist Museum in Barcelona, reopened its doors in May with an exhibition featuring avant-garde technology that offers visitors an immersive experience. With the help of augmented reality and artificial intelligence one can travel back in time to the early 20th century and inside the magical mind of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí

As soon as one enters the new spaces of over 21,000 square feet of the “10D Experience” art installation, one enters another dimension, as in Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novel “Alice in Wonderland”. Enveloping large-scale video art projections, drawings, blueprints and manuscripts from Gaudí, accompanied by a soundtrack exclusively composed for the exhibition and nature sounds, visitors are taken on an unforgettable multisensory expedition

The building housing Casa Batlló is a must-see on the tourist circuit of Barcelona. It was constructed in 1877 and is situated in the majestic Passeig de Gràcia. This modernist jewel is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and welcomes around one million visitors a year. Furthermore, the recent restoration of the building’s facade and interior make this architectural splendor shine even more.

The first step of this ambitious project was to conduct extensive research in order to compile thousands of photographs, drawings, manuscripts, blueprints, videos and 3D models to create the world’s most important digital archive on Gaudí to date.

Once all the material had been categorized, the different tasks were distributed to start creating the two immersive exhibition rooms “Gaudí Dôme" and “Gaudí Cube". The first space has 1,000 screens, 38 projectors with volumetric displays and 21 audio channels, and the second space houses the world’s first six-sided LED cube.

Those responsible for developing the content and equipment of the two new halls, so far not open to the public, were various companies whose specialty are innovation, design and technology such as DMO design company (product design), Hecho & Co (service design), Vitelsa (museography), NDV (hardware), COREGRID (software), Cyan (augmented reality), and the list goes on.

Design innovation

One of the requests transmitted to this synergy of companies was to make sure the exhibition focused on the visitor’s experience. To achieve this, every step and interaction of the user’s journey during the visit had to be carefully analyzed.

DMO was part of the team that brought this 5-year project to reality. We designed an intelligent audio guide system consisting of wireless headphones and a battery charging/storage cart. The audio guides —which are available in 15 languages— start playing their content automatically when the visitor enters each room. To ensure that, the headphones have integrated sensors which emit signals to a series of devices that were placed on the ceiling of each room. At the end of the day the headphones are connected to the charging/storage carts so their batteries can be charged.

In line with the higher demand for equipment disinfection due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DMO designed sanitizing modules with ultraviolet LED lights which clean the headphones and carts in about 30-40 minutes.

Working remotely together with professionals from several continents to build a multi-sensory experience that evokes Gaudí’s magical mind was an amazing journey in itself for those of us at DMO. We invite you to also take part in this innovative experience.

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