Many know the Franklin Institute as a staple in the city, but there are some changes in store for the cultural institution.
The FI recently announced the unveiling of a new brand identity and logo, which will coincide with the debut of the $8.5 million ‘Wondrous Space’ exhibit. The timing also matches up with preparation of its 200th anniversary in 2024.
Now open, ‘Wondrous Space’ is the first in a series of new thematic exhibits that will think out-of-the-box in terms of science showcases, and also, allow for the re-imagination of The Franklin Institute experience.
“This is a significant shift for The Franklin Institute, revolutionizing how our audience learns and engages with science through exhibits and experiences that push the boundaries of science communication, beginning with Wondrous Space,” said Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute in a statement.
Dubinski continued: “The new brand identity is reflective of the immense changes The Franklin Institute will undergo over the next several years while maintaining the illustrious history that has grounded this museum as a premier science destination.”
What this means for the FI is that 12 exhibits will be turning into 6 exhibits, with each leg of the new showcase doubling in size. The exhibits will all focus on different topics ranging from space, the human body, advanced machines and robotics, earth systems, computer science, and the built environment.
And as a release states, the upcoming exhibits—debuting over the next few years—will be adaptable and future-focused, evolving as science advances, and from a design perspective, they will push the boundaries of creativity and immersion.
The rebrand comes with some help from Antonio & Paris, an award-winning branding agency that worked with the FI toward a more modern look. The new updates also come from a $3 million gift from The Boeing Company, which went into the two-story, 7,500-square-foot exhibit, between the Fels Planetarium and the Holt & Miller Observatory.
“Boeing and The Franklin Institute are United in our commitment to advancing STEM education and workforce development programs for students of all backgrounds,” said Ziad Ojakli, executive vice president of Government Operations at Boeing in a statement.
“Boeing has a proud legacy in human spaceflight, having been a part of every major U.S. endeavor to escape Earth’s gravity. This exhibit highlights Boeing’s rich legacy in human space exploration and offers endless possibilities for immersive STEM education experiences.”
The exhibit is meant to be immersive, with the first level putting guests in simulations that transport them to space, while the upper level delves into space through the lens of creativity and innovation. As the release says, ‘Wondrous Space’ showcases 80 space-related artifacts on loan, including two rovers from Carnegie Mellon University and a 10-foot-long rocket engine from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, with many other on loan from other venues.
A big highlight is the exhibit’s Rover Design, an interactive station where guests can design and test their exploratory rovers, sponsored by AMETEK Inc. Several of AMETEK’s other artifacts and innovations will be surrounding the Rover Design in the exhibit as well.
To learn more, visit fi.edu