With under a month to go before the Harvard Art Museums open, anticipation is building to see what’s inside. Chain-link fencing was set up around the museums in December 2009, preventing anyone but staff and construction workers from entering the site. In the final weeks before the fencing came down, interactive signage was set up to offer a new, virtual way inside the museums.
Using technology from the augmented reality and interactive print platform company Layar, the museums’ creative team designed “fence graphics,” a series of banners bearing slogans from our #OpenThisFall campaign together with images of the building’s exterior. They were displayed on the fencing on Broadway and on Quincy and Prescott Streets.
Viewers who downloaded the free Layar app could engage with the graphics by focusing their mobile device’s viewfinder on the black brackets framing the images. Layar’s special browser then superimposed an interactive set of photos over the graphics, enabling viewers to flip through exclusive shots of the building’s exterior architecture and interior spaces, as well as select artwork from the museums’ collections. Viewers could even share the images on social media.
“Engaging with passersby and giving them a taste of the new Harvard Art Museums before we open is crucial,” said Steven Waldron, the museums’ creative director. “Having experimented with Layar in the past, we knew it would help us continue our opening campaign in an interactive and different way.”