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Trip to D.C.’s Planet Word

By April 25, 2024April 26th, 2024Views
The Fiore Design team took a team excursion to Washington, D.C. to visit Planet Word, an immersive museum that brings “words to life” through its innovative, imaginative and interactive exhibits and galleries. Housed in Washington, D.C.’s historic Franklin School, Planet Word is described as “a revolutionary museum dedicated to the power, beauty, and fun of language and to showing how words shape the human experience”
Our team was truly inspired by the museum’s ingenuity, design and overall experience, and we compiled some of our highlights and most memorable exhibits.

Upon entering the courtyard, we were quite literally “welcomed” to the museum by passing under a whispering “Speaking Willow Tree” — an immersive metal sculpture which conjures murmurs in hundreds of languages as you pass through its branches.

The Spoken World exhibit showcased the diversity of languages around the globe through speakers and signers of 31 different languages.

The 22-foot-tall interactive “Wall of Words” and “Where Do Words Come From? delves into the story of the English language and the origin of many of its most commonly used words, using voice activation technology.

Emily Walsh loved the word origins presentation that utilized dimensional white letters and light projection, as it communicated the story in such an engaging and captivating way, using the world’s first voice activation technology.

The Library, a dimly lit sanctum with towering shelves of classic books that come alive, thanks to digital projections.

“I loved the library room with the mirrored ceilings that made the bookcases look like they were two stories tall. Being able to select books off the shelf and place them on a sensor that made the book come alive with words and images was very cool.” -Meredith 

Other highlights included an acoustically sealed room where visitors use a teleprompter to deliver one of eight historically significant speeches (and Hillary’s favorite part was watching Emily deliver a Queen Elizabeth I speech to the troops at Tilbery); a karaoke lounge where music lovers will learn secrets of great songwriting; and a secret poetry nook hidden in the stacks of a magical library. In other galleries, visitors can create an advertising campaign, literally paint with words using “smart” paint brushes, and converse with native speakers of widely spoken and endangered languages.

Fiore Design CEO, Karen Fiore, who selected this excursion based on the relevant work Fiore Design does in transforming environments, recognized the opportunity to see the first voice-activated museum utilizing environment branding applications as “a perfect fit for a fun out of office day that would be inspiring.” Karen comments on how well-done Planet Word was, while being completely engaged and inspired from start to finish. “From the garden entry, donor wall and the wayfinding functionality to the exhibits. Each room was inspiring, using environmental graphic applications in conjunction with multimedia applications the rooms came to life. Planet Word did not disappoint.”

Written by Hillary Vigdor