The interactive exhibits in museums around DC are the perfect change of pace from the traditional museum exhibits you’re used to seeing.
Ranging from holographic art to a 3D talking tree and even intricate twine work, our list of interactive exhibits covers some of the most exciting works of art currently available in the district.
The life of a neuron, ARTECHOUSE
ARTECHOUSE, recognized for its colorful holographies, began as the first gallery in the United States that combined programming and fine art, creating a medium never seen before.
Every few months, ARTECHOUSE presents a new exhibition devoted to a particular theme, event or social problem. The gallery’s current exhibition, titled “The Life of a Neuron”, will be on display until November 28. This exhibit focuses on the wonders of the human brain, allowing visitors to reimagine the human experience from another perspective.
This new exhibit allows visitors to immerse themselves in the human body and experience life from the perspective of a microscopic but complex neuron. The visuals in this exhibit will allow you to “experience a neuron – from pre-birth to death,” recreating the cycle of life much like a moving movie, according to the exhibit’s website. .
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $ 20 for students and $ 24 for general admission. Find more information here.
Planet word museum
Enter the Planet Word Museum and get ready to discover over 99% of the languages of our planet through incredible visuals and interactive elements.
A giant 3D globe on the top floor surrounded by small screens displays videos of people speaking and signing in different languages. Another exhibit, called “the library,” is located on the middle floor and features books with colored lights and audio elements to make them “come to life in front of your eyes,” according to the website.
The museum’s flagship exhibition is its “Speaking Willow Tree”, a mixed media sculpture created by Rafael Lozano-Hammer. The sculpture will whisper to you in several languages as you walk under its small lamps. It should be mentioned that Lozano incorporated the elements of light and voice in his sculpture to symbolize wisdom and celebrate human diversity.
The Planet Word Museum has 12 other main exhibits spread across the upper, middle, and lower floors. Don’t miss the installation “Word Worlds”, a magical canvas that lets you paint everything around you with words, and “The Spoken World”, an interactive piece that lets you meet speakers from around the world.
Planet Word Museum, 925 13th St. NW. Open Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are free. Find more information here.
The Renwick Gallery
The Renwick Gallery is a must visit for anyone interested in contemporary American art. In this gallery, you will be able to see works of art that extend beyond a flat canvas and come to life through the use of a combination of textures and ideas.
While some of the gallery’s most famous rooms are temporarily closed, an interactive exhibit that the museum invites visitors to present under the title “Janet Echelman’s 1.8 Renwick” opened in September 2020.
Echelman’s vibrant episode “examines the complex interconnections between human beings and our physical world” while embodying the human concept of time according to the website. This immense, knotted and luminous room overlooks the gallery like a frozen wave and invites visitors to lie down on the carpet below to see better.
Its fabric was modeled after the mighty Tohoku Tsunami in 2011 in Japan, capturing the mighty force of nature and putting human size in perspective.
This event “was so powerful that it moved the earth on its axis and shortened the day by 1.8 millionth of a second”, prompting the artist to name it “1.8 Renwick” according to the website.
Renwick Gallery, 1661 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Tickets are free. Find more information here.
International Spy Museum
Ignite the spy child in you at the International Spy Museum, featuring 17 interactive digital and physical exhibits.
You will be able to fight your way through an undercover mission after receiving your name and cover information. This information will be your bogus occupation and details of “where in the world” your espionage mission will take place, according to the website.
This interactive element is an optional addition to your tour so that you can participate in your infiltration mission at your leisure. Throughout the museum, you’ll perform tasks like cracking codes, testing your cognitive biases in a digital game, and even testing your physical endurance by seeing how long you can hold onto a pull-up bar.
As you move around the museum, your scores and “information” will be tracked and then analyzed in the debriefing center where your two best skills will be revealed.
As you complete your undercover spy mission, you will move through five different areas of the museum. For example, the “Stealing Secrets” exhibit showcases spy gadgets past and present, the “Making Sense of Secrets” exhibit focuses on hacking and code analysis, and “covert action” explains how world leaders use spy tactics.
International Spy Museum, 700 L’Enfant Plaza, SW. Open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets with student card cost $ 22.95 per person and $ 24.95 for general admission. Find more information here.