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Avatar : The Exhibition

Creative Director and Interactive Exhibit Designer
Snibbe Interactive


James Cameron pioneered digital movie making techniques with Avatar, bringing a previously unseen level of realism to computer-generated imagery. EMP Museum asked Snibbe Interactive to develop a series of technically ambitious exhibits to help tell this story, in “Avatar : The Exhibition”.

I designed and managed the production of four completely new platforms, going from concept sketch to installed exhibits in less than five months. We used the original 3D files that Cameron used to create the scenes for Avatar, building an immersive motion capture stage in which visitors could reenact different scenes from the movie. Visitors could see themselves appear as 10’ tall Navi creatures, act out a scene and then save their performances to social media.

Other exhibits include a projection that responds to visitor silhouettes, engulfing their bodies with gently floating Woodsprites, and an interactive table that responds to physical objects, enabling visitors to browse hundreds of images created by the Avatar production team.




Transplanting technology designed for the movie business to a visitor experience on a short timeframe requires tight collaboration. We worked with the EMP Museum exhibits team, James Cameron’s production company ‘Lighthouse’ and Peter Jackson’s ‘Weta’, customizing numerous digital assets to fit the new context.

The exhibit was a great success and went on to tour science museums and entertainment venues throughout the USA. The interactive tables won two international design awards, and quickly become a core technology for the firm, installed in dozens of venues across North America and Europe.