The DiMenna Children’s History Museum (DCHM) is a museum-within-a-museum, occupying the lower level of the New-York Historical Society. Visitors explore 300 years of New York and American history by exploring the lives of children of the past. The exhibit is built around a series of character-based pavilions, and which incorporate over twenty unique interactive programs, media experiences and games. Produced in collaboration with Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership.
The media is designed to make history fun and relevant, providing hands on methods and tools used for discovery. Children are immersed in history as they explore and re-enacting the experiences of the city’s inhabitants. Young visitors become engaged in the events and personalities that have shaped history, and in the exploration of character traits that are as important in the 17th and 18th centuries as they are today.
The interactive media uses metaphors such as old-time childhood images, favorite old-time board games and mechanical, imagery and film footage and re-configures them into relevant and modern programs that entertain and engage these audiences today.
Orphan Train- An Interactive Experience
Using paintings, stock footage and photographs drawn from the New York Historical Society’s extensive (and rarely seen) archives, Unified Field’s designers and film-makers crafted a multimedia experiential film, which takes museum visitors on a POV digital journey into the past.
Housed in a replica train car, replete with benches and windows, the experiential interactive is tripped when guests sit down on specially rigged seat cushions. Two monitors, arrayed and synced to look like train windows, play footage of an epic, turn-of-the-century, multi-media transcontinental journey while scripted audio of orphan train children plays.
Cast Your Vote- Learning About Voting Rights
The cast your vote interactive lets visitors at the DiMenna Children’s history museum learn about the history of voting rights. Styled after an old fashioned ballot booth, the interactive tasks guests with determining which characters can vote in the historic elections of 1789, 1852, 1856, 1868, 1872, 1920, 1924, 1944, 1952 and 1968.
Cornelia Van Varick: Life in Dutch Brooklyn
To bring a Dutch girl from 18th century Brooklyn back to life for the Cornelia van Varick pavilion, Unified Field Inc. created a Pepper’s Ghost Interactive, which projects a holographic film of an actress playing Cornelia van Varick inside of a dollhouse sized model.
Nearby, the Cornelia van Varick living portrait touch screen interactive kiosk enables guests to paint a portrait of daily life in 18th century New York with their fingertips.
Newsies : Talk the Talk Touch Screen Game
Think you have what it takes to make it on the streets selling newspapers in turn-of-the-century New York? The Newsies: Walk the Walk interactive touchscreen educational game transports visitors back to the cobblestones of Manhattan where they must sell newspapers to survive in historically accurate settings.