Project Description

On exhibit January 26-May 12, 2019

What does it take to create an engaging and fun videogame? How many beats per second does a DJ need to get bodies moving on the dance floor? What goes behind creating a roller coaster or a skate park that produces the most fun and biggest thrills? Discover the secrets behind how videogame developers, music producers, roller coaster designers, and other creative problem solvers do what they do in our new exhibit, Design Zone.

Design Zone is a highly interactive, hands-on exhibit where visitors explore creative concepts to learn the processes and tools needed to create a successful design. Design Zone is organized into three thematic zones, all highlighting the importance of science and mathematical thinking in areas critical to building creativity and innovation: art, music, and engineering.

ART-See It!

Visitors discover the math behind visual creativity, from architecture to video games, designers use scale, patterns, and other key mathematical concepts, to turn visual ideas into reality. Visitors can explore the relationship between weights and distance by creating their own colorful two-dimensional mobile in Balancing Art, navigate a Marble Maze, adjusting the variables in this videogame to create the highest score, and test their abilities to continue a pattern in three dimensions as they Build a Tower.

MUSIC-Hear It!

Visitors explore relationships between length and pitch in musical instruments, ratios and rhythms, and visual representations of sound. Visitors can experiment with tube length and pitch to create music with the Whack-a-Phone, explore the math behind rhythm and music by mixing a song on a Drum Machine, and as the Light Show DJ, discover how laser light show technicians create mesmerizing patterns that get people dancing.


Visitors explore the math and physics behind anything that moves. Visitors can discover what it takes to create a thrilling ride in Roller Coaster Hills, explore how hill height and speed are needed to create a Fast Tracks rollercoaster course, and Design a Skate Park by manipulating slope to create essential skate park features, and then test their design with a virtual skater and ride the course!

The creation of Design Zone was made possible by the generous support of the National Science Foundation. The exhibition was produced and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

Design Zone is sponsored by Du Pont and Quest for the Best.