Smithsonian Infectious Diseases RFP Outline


Ebola and Mers said to have originated from bats

Briefly describe the museum’s design values?

The Museum is primarily looking for an informative, educational experience for all ages and abilities that allows visitors to discover and interact with the exhibit in a fun and engaging manner. They are very interested in the sense of discovery and allowing the visitor to learn on their own and have the chance to interact with either physical or digital components.  Accessibility is also a top priority for them.  


Specifically, what kind of stories are they interested in for the infectious disease exhibit?

They are interested in exploring the stories behind infectious diseases. For example, the origins of the diseases and how modern civilization has played a role in their rise and spread.. The Smithsonian would like to closely look at how human patterns, cities and lifestyle over the years led to outbreaks like the Ebola outbreak in 2013.  


Additionally, they are interested in stories of the professionals and experts tackling infectious diseases today. Especially, how these experts are using technology and “disease” infrastructure or research methods to track, understand and treat disease.


What technologies are they interested in?

They are interested in both physical and digital technologies that allow people to explore. They are interested in any number of digital technologies as long as it pertains to the exhibit as a whole, works within a physical space and can be durable.


What is your recommended schedule for prototyping and where does it fit within the timeframe?

After the wireframes and design comps have been approved. I would recommend a 8 week prototyping to build an MVP and perform user testing.  I would allow 3 weeks for the production and 6 weeks for rapid prototyping with iteration, refinement and UX testing at key intervals.


Write a concept statement describing a project that you think fits their needs

How a disease moves from animals to human and why

The exhibit would look back at swine flu and then move to the more recent outbreak of ebola in Guinea, which was said to have started with bats. The exhibit would have various areas for exploration to see how a disease biologically moves into a human host, including a AR/VR microscopic lab where the patient could study and interact with organism in an immersive environment rather than a microscope. This experience would allow you to essentially become the disease and follow a first person narrative of its journey, exploring the scientific details of how and why it reacts the way it does to various environments.

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