Monday, January 17, 2011

Pictures from Open Make at the Exploratorium

Saturday I was invited to the Exploratorium to show off some of my prop and costume replica projects for Open Make.  This was part of the Young Makers program put together in collaboration between the Exploratorium, Make Magazine, and Pixar Animation Studios, designed to inspire kids to build things of their own. 

The exhibit went really well.  I spent the entire day swamped with people asking questions and looking over the various pieces I brought.  I had a great time, but I didn't get a chance to see much of what else was going on after we'd finished setting up my display:
Exploratorium Exhibit

The two guys dressed in full Spartan armor Alex (red) and Noah (blue) came along to attract a bit more attention and so they could walk around and play with all of the exhibits. I also brought my friend Matt along to help shepherd the guys in the armor and fix things as needed.  My sister Rose was driving my camera and I tasked her and the guys with getting a ton of pictures  that would make the costumes look as good as possible.  She succeeded:
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You can see the rest of the pictures after the jump.

Here's almost all of our gear loaded into the back of Alex's truck before we headed into town:

Once the display was set up and before the doors opened, the staff started asking all sorts of questions:

When the doors did open, Alex and Noah were all over the place getting their pictures taken:

They also spent a lot of time playing with the other exhibits:

I didn't get much of a chance to get away from my table, but when I did I was glad to find a nearby drinking fountain:

Here's Alex demonstrating some of his range of motion in costume:
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While they were screwing around, they posed for some really great shots:Exploratorium 077

My sister Rose was doing most of the photography, but she did get a chance to pose for a shot or two:
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This display was supposed to show the workings of a tornado:
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Apparently my suits of mjolnir armor are impervious to tornado damage:
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Alex asked about what he had to do to stay in character.  I shouldn't have mentioned he's supposed to be fond of red:
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He did a great job, but he wasn't in character every second:Exploratorium 164

The guys did a great job with the kids:
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Here's a shot of the marquee advertising the afternoon discussions:
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There was a webcast of the presentations which you can view here:

The Exploratorium afforded all manner of high-tech things to pose Spartans next to, so Rose got some great shots:
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Meanwhile, I was fielding questions about the build process:
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Which was probably better than being harassed by middle school girls:
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I'm not sure things would've gone so smoothly without Matt and Rose coming with us.  It was great to have someone I could trust to help the guys in armor if they needed anything tweaked or straightened out:
Exploratorium Matt and Alex

With Matt's help, a minor wardrobe malfunction was quickly repaired and the guys were back to entertaining the crowd:
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They did get a few minutes here and there to rest:
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But mostly they were wandering around getting their pictures taken:Exploratorium 418

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Exploratorium Spartans

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Thanks again to the staff at the Exploratorium, the folks at Make Magazine, and the crew from Pixar for inviting me to come down.


  1. This looked sooooo cool! I have been pondering a style paper/fiberglass hybrid for a Halloween type costume, but your stuff looks like it is ready for war! Great job, and thanks for giving back to the community.

  2. Would love it you managed to get your QR code into the Photo's would love to see your own studio/setup... Might be worth a few quid to make a small scale version for HalOween. :)

  3. Awesome pics, and right here in the Bay Area. That's excellent!