Created by Cambridge (US) based creative studio Design I/O (Theo Watson, Emily Gobeille and Nick Hardeman), Connected Worlds is a large scale immersive, interactive ecosystem developed for the New York Hall of Science.
The installation is comprised of six interactive ecosystems spread out across the walls of the Great Hall and connected together by a 3000 sqft interactive floor and a 45ft high waterfall. Visitors can use physical logs to divert water flowing across the floor from the waterfall into the different environments, where children can then use their hands to plant seeds. As the different environments bloom creatures appear based on the health of the environment and the type of plants growing in it. If multiple environments are healthy creatures will migrate between them causing interesting chain reactions of behaviours.
The installation is designed to encourage a systems thinking approach to sustainability where local actions in one environment may have global consequences. Children work with a fixed amount of water in the system and have to work together to manage and distribute the water across the different environments. Clouds return water from the environments to the waterfall which releases water to the floor when it rains.