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Experience, understand & share From a banker to a six year old! When talking about human behaviour and topics which are subject to many opinions, one might easily get lost in scientifically written explanations... Page 20

A good year We have received some fantastic feedback which has become an invaluable motivation for us to continue to do what we love. For that we want to say: Thank you! Page16

Powering the Future

energy in Iceland today. The result is a bright and inviting exhibition, turning The aim was to create a highly interactive the hydro stations into an attractive new and modern visitor center where destination in the beautiful countryside everyone could learn about the nature of close to the UNESCO heritage site electrical power, the discoveries that led of Þingvellir. Visitors are invited to to the mass production of electricity and dive into the essence of electricity and the development of harnessing renewable become inspired by this phenomenon, Featured projects

National Parks

Whales of Iceland

The National Parks of Norway are an integrated part of the Norwegian outdoor life, and an important part of the fast growing nature-based tourism in the country. Page 14

Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where visitors can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. Page 15 Issue #4

from the smallest electron to the fascinating engineering that powers our modern world. Page 4

How a lawyer creates a unique exhibition in Hardangervidda

“I had no prior experience in making exhibitions, but I have always from early childhood been interested in exhibits and art.” Letter from Per Lykke, chairman of the board at Hardangervidda National Park Centre. Page 18


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Powering the Future

Mosar

A good year for Gagarin

How we do it - The journey

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Behind the scenes

National Park Norway

A letter from Norway

The Process

Into the Glacier

Whales of Iceland

From a banker to a six year old


3 About us

About Us At Gagarin we create highly interactive media solutions that allow people to experience stories vividly, understand interesting content and share their discoveries with others. Our clients include museums, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and corporations that utilize our work in showrooms and visitor centers, at events and online. We have over 20 year’s experience working with a multitude of digital media, interfaces, devices and technologies. Our diverse team of producers, planners, designers, programmers, and audio-visual experts has created environments and experiences that have a strong and lasting impact on communities and our clients’ organizations.

Our team is constantly developing innovative ways to engage the audience. We can also draw from our repertoire of existing products and technology solutions and tailor them to the specific needs of our clients. We work closely with our customers from the initial analysis stage and all the way through the concept design, specification, project planning, development and deployment phases, culminating with on-going service provided by Gagarin experts. We strive to understand our customers’ needs and deliver total solutions that are cost effective and scalable.

“We reveal the unseen, trigger emotions and provoke deeper thought.” At Gagarin we connect curious audiences and experts in science, culture, government and/or business to create experiences that make stories come alive. We reveal the unseen, trigger emotions and provoke deeper thought. By doing so, we help our clients raise awareness about important issues, increase viewership and visitation rates and stimulate dialogue.

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Powering the Future

T h e aim was to create a highly interactive and modern visitor center where everyone could learn about the nature of electrical power.

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The Project On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the National Power Company of Iceland, Gagarin designed a new exhibition in collaboration with Tvíhorf architects at Ljósafoss hydro station. The aim was to create a highly interactive and modern visitor center where everyone could learn about the nature of electrical power, the discoveries that led to the mass production of electricity

and the development of harnessing renewable energy in Iceland today. The result is a bright and inviting exhibition, turning the hydro station into an attractive new destination in the beautiful countryside close to the UNESCO heritage site of Þingvellir. Visitors are invited to dive into the essence of electricity and become

inspired by this phenomenon, from the smallest electron to the fascinating engineering that powers all of our modern world. A large part of the exhibition consists of a powerful sound and kinetic light sculpture which is an ode to the natural phenomena that form the foundation of Iceland’s renewable electricity production.


You Are Energy You Are Energy is the first installation to catch the visitor’s attention. It consists of a big, interactive concrete wall which illuminates from within when force is applied to it. Visitors are invited to test their strength and meet the challenge of inducing an explosion.

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The Generator The Generator is a reconstruction of a typical generator that allows visitors to create an oscillating current for light bulbs through the turning of a wheel.


The Lightning 6

The Lightning is an interactive table with lingering particles. The particles are positive and negative charges that attract each other, but are repelled by their own kind. When visitors collect the negatives by stroking their fingers along the surface, an imbalance caused by the build-up creates a bolt of thundering lightning, similar to what one experiences in nature.

The Reservoir The Reservoir is operated by visitors pumping virtual water to fill a reservoir. They learn that the energy they put into filling the reservoir with water becomes stored energy that can be used to power appliances by capturing the energy of the falling water.


Energy of the World Energy of the World is a tangible timeline that reviews the major milestones and discoveries in the history of electrical production.

The “short stories” are a collection of tales relating to electricity and it’s effect on technology, evolution and well-being. Each tale is presented with a 3D creation of the item that is referred to.

Quiz stations Visitors answer a selection of questions relating to energy in Iceland specifically and around the world. The answers are neither right nor wrong, but the results appear as a proportion of other visitors’ recorded opinions.

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Short Stories


The Power Station The Power Station is a representation of a hydro- and geothermal power plant. Three wheels allow visitors to release running water and steam through large pipes. This combination generates enough power to run a large central turbine.

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Örsted´s Compass Örsted’s Compass is a reconstruction of Örsted’s experiment where the relationship between electric power and magnetic power was discovered. This discovery made the mass production of electricity possible.


The Wind Power Installation gives visitors the opportunity to compete by harnessing wind over time. On a triangulated landscape a visible wind is blowing over the landscape. Users can, by turning a knob, point a windmill in any direction and thus harnessing the constant changing wind. It is a competition between three parties over a minute and the one who captures the greatest wind wins!

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Wind Power


“Rome wasn’t built in a day”

We reveal photos from behind the scene and reflect on an amazing journey together with the employees of Landsvirkjun the National Power Company of Iceland, Tvíhorf architects and number of other consultants and experts who were involved in the process and made this exhibition possible.

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Into the Glacier A rear view to a natural phenomen.

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The Project Langjökull glacier, the second largest in Iceland, has an area of about 950 km² and a height that rises between 1200 and 1300 m above sea level. Today, visitors can travel on top of the icecap and visit a man made ice tunnel and caves, to explore the glacier and see it from the inside. Gagarin designed a couple of installation to enhance the journey into the glacier. When travelling on „monstertrucks“ up the icy slopes, often in crazy weathers, visitors can realize the

truck´s position in a 3D landscape on a screen in the truck. An audio narration shares a range of information on the glacial exploration and the glacier itself. Once inside the glacier the journey is enhanced with soundscapes created by Gagarin, and deep in the end of the tunnel a film on the glacier’s, its formation and future predictions, is displayed. A visit is an once in a lifetime experience.


Mosar

A jewel in Iceland’s largest National Park.

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The Project Bryophytes are prominent in the vegetation of the northern hemisphere. In Iceland their role is especially important in the volcanic belt west of Vatnajökull ice cap, the largest glacier in Europe. In summer 2015 Gagarin, in collaboration with Kría Benediktsdóttir designed a small exhibition on the volcanic zone near Laki and on the bryophytes which adapt to that rough lava environment.


Norway´s National Parks

The main objective is to give visitors an overview of all the parks and let them discover the uniqueness of each national park.

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The Project Gagarin is currently working on an interactive map installation featuring the spectacular National Parks of Norway. Norway has 44 national parks, of which 37 are on the mainland and 7 on Svalbard. The national parks are an integrated part of the Norwegian outdoor life, and an important part of the fast growing nature-based tourism in the country.

The main objective is to give visitors an overview of all the parks and let them discover the uniqueness of each national park. The map installation gives the visitors the big picture, shows the main attractions for each park on an interactive map, along with a promotional video, images enhancing the uniqueness of each park.

The installation is in three languages, Norwegian, English and North-Sami. It is displayed on a large touch screen and will be located in the 15 visitor centres throughout Norway. The project has been implemented in close collaboration with the client, the Norwegian Environment Agency overseeing the project on behalf of the National Parks of Norway.


Whales of Iceland

Visitors can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment electrical power.

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The Project Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where visitors can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features real size models of the species living in the North-Atlantic oceans. A true giant experience. Gagarin developed a multi-user installation where the biological aspects

of a Minke Whale are reviewed i.e. head, mouth, baleen, brain, senses, lungs, heart, etc. Three interactive panels are placed in front of a model of a Whale. When visitors select different topics of interest from the panels, animated illustration with audio narration, are projected on the model, explaining the selected topics. Exhibition design: HallgrĂ­mur FriĂ°geirsson


A good year for Gagarin With hard work, a lot of patience and enormous optimism we gradually managed to reach out and shine a light on some of our work.

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Thank you! Everyone who sits down to draft an idea in a creative process is familiar with the excitement and joy that comes with it, not to mention the sweet satisfaction of seeing the finished product. It were those feelings that led us into the realm of design in the first place and that later convinced us to join forces in Gagarin. As a team we could take on even bigger design challenges. At that time we were not aware of all the obstacles and

hindrances associated with running a design studio on a small island far from the big continents. With hard work, a lot of patience and enormous optimism we gradually managed to reach out and shine a light on some of our work. As a result we have received some fantastic feedback which has become an invaluable motivation for us to continue to do what we love. For that we want to say: Thank you!

SEGD GLOBAL DESIGN AWARD WINNER 2015


2016 Icelandic Graphic Design Association, Powerin the Future – Award The Icelandic Advertising Awards, Powering the Future – Nomination The German Design Awards, Wild Reindeer Exhibition – Winner The German Design Awards, Canadian Museum for Human Rights – Special Mention The German Design Awards, Eldheimar – Nomination The German Design Awards, Oil & Gas Exhibition – Nominatin 2015 Iceland Design Award, Eldheimar – Winner SEDG Global Design Awards, Eldheimar – Honor Award European Design Awards, Oil & Gas Exhibition – Gold Prize European Design Awards, Canadian Museum for Human Rights – Silver Prize Icelandic Graphic Design Association, Eldheimar – Award Icelandic Graphic Design Association, Oil & Gas Exhibition - Recognition 2014 European Design Awards, Wild Reindeer Exhibition – Silver Prize Icelandic Graphic Design Association, Wild Reindeer Exhibition - Award 2013 Icelandic Graphic Design Association, Norwegian Seabird centre – Award 2012 Icelandic Graphic Design Association, For the Good of the Nation – Recognition Icelandic Graphic Design Association, Create-O-Mat – Recognition

2010 The Icelandic Advertising Awards, Six Thinking Pencils – Nomination The Icelandic Web Awards, Legends of Valhalla – Award 2009 The Icelandic Advertising Awards, Light in the dark – Best Event 2008 The Icelandic Web Awards, the Icelandic Post – Finalist The Icelandic Web Awards, Akranes Municipality – Finalist 2007 World Summit Award, Primary Health Care of the Capital Area – Finalist World Summit Award, Reykjavik Culture Night – Finalist 2006 NODEM Awards, Reykjavik 871±2 – Award World Summit Award, The National Museum – Finalist 2004 NODEM Awards, Hofsstaðir – Award

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2011 The Icelandic Advertising Awards, Renewable Energy – Best Event The Icelandic Advertising Awards, Create-O-Mat – Nomination Icelandic Graphic Design Association, Legends of Valhalla – Recognition


How a lawyer creates a unique exhibition in Hardangervidda Letter from Per Lykke, chairman of the board at Hardangervidda Natinal Park Centre. I am a lawyer in Norway and a local/ regional politician. A few years ago I was appointed as the chairman of the board of the Hardangervidda national park centre to solve a big economic mess related to the centre. After a long negotiating process with the banks and new contributions from the owners we managed with fresh capital to get rid of considerable debts for the company and make a fresh start.

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Since we were a “new born” national park centre in Norway’s largest national park, The Hardangervidda national park, we realized that we had to put ourselves on the map by making an new suitable exhibition. I was asked to be the project leader of making such an exhibition. I had no prior experience in making exhibitions, but I have always from early childhood been interested in exhibits and art. I lived in London at that time and my father took me arround to see many exhibits. I don‘t know how many times we visited the Natural Science Museum. In my youth I worked with artistic multimedia and music groups from the Art Academy in Oslo. I have always been very fond of nature and hunting has been a big part of my life. As a result I felt I had a fairly good background experience to take on the job and I possibly had a different perspective, compared to the natural scientists, which might add value to the exhibition? I had been visited several national park centres abroad in Germany (Bayerische walde), Scotland and in Colorado in

Per Lykke, Norways minister for Enviroment, Tine Sundtoft and Solveig Sund Abrahamsen member of Parlament (Stortinget).

USA. All those visits had inspired me, so early on I had a picture of what a proper exhibition should look like and what information it should contain. I had also visited most of Norway’s national park centres, and to be honest, I wasn‘t very impressed.

“I had no prior experience in making exhibitions, but I have always from early childhood been interested in exhibits and art.” My drive was to create an exhibition of high international standard. After all we are talking about Norway‘s- and one

of Europe‘s largest and most important national parks. Hardangervidda is the habitat of the oldest and largest wild reindeer tribe in Europe. The reindeer is also Europe‘s oldest mainland animal with a fantastic and unique history. Norway is also internationally obligated to take care of the Norwegian reindeer according to the Bern convention. Quite early we knew that the reindeer should be the central theme of the exhibition. To create an exhibition of this size and quality one needs money and funding. I collected for two years from all kinds of donors, government, regions, councils, private companies, and finally we managed to finance the entire project. All the donations were gifts so we have no debts today. Once the financing was


secured we moved further for detailed planning and hiring designers and constructors. We had few worries to begin with. The finance was one but later we had a team of photographers, text writers, high academic consultants, and designers who had to work as a team. That is always a challenging task but we managed to create a group which blossomed throughout the entire process in a very positive way.

“Hardangervidda is the habitat of the oldest and largest wild reindeer tribe in Europe. The reindeer is also Europe‘s oldest mainland animal with a fantastic and unique history.”

Our goal with our exhibition was to create a huge information base for the wild reindeer and its ecological system in Hardangervidda and in whole of Norway. It was to increase the public knowledge of important environmental issues and challenges. At the same time we also wanted the exhibition to be modern and fresh regarding design and we wanted to combine the information with artistic expressions so visitors could enjoy the exhibition as an experience in itself. As a result interactivity plays a very important role in creating the right experience for the visitors, I actually believe that proportionally there is hardly any other exhibition with as many interactives as this one. People learn through tangibility and they also get to share their views with others.

Nearly half of all our visitors are foreigners from Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark and the exhibition has received three different and prestigious international awards. By close cooperation on marketing with several other tourist attractions in the region the visitor rate will just grow year by year. A satisfied customer is of course the best marketing one can get! Per Lykke

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We plan to grow and our next product is an ecological role play installation which we plan to have finished next summer.

Our exhibition has been received in a very positive way and far our expectations. We get exceptionally good feedback from our visitors, and also on Tripadvisor. Most of them say it’s a very interesting and fascinating exhibition, very well designed and done, and that different themes are covered and linked very well together. Many of our visitors express that there’s much to learn and see that they have to come back. The average visiting time is over two hours.


From a banker to a six year old Complexity of Interaction Design.

20 When carrying out contextual inquiry for interpretive planning, doing fact findings and analysis, one can focus on literature about previous research and use other people’s findings in order to create an interactive design explaining these insights. When talking about human behavious and topics which are subject to many opinions, one might easily get lost in scientifically written explanations of emotional and attitudinal perspectives. As a creator of interactive experiences explaining these matters one must fully understand the emotional and subjective context of the topic. In order to gain this insight we perform qualitative design research with a selected group of people who are passionate about the topic because of personal interest or experience; experts from a variety of perspectives.

Gagarin has taken on a project to increase the financial literacy of Icelandic people, a topic that involves all things concerning personal finance as well as the mechanics of economy at large, a topic that might seem almost insurmountable in its vastness. These cases are the ones we have to turn to these experts to gain clarity, direction and understanding. However sometimes, as in the case of financial literacy, there are truths. It occurred to us that we need to expose ourselves to a portfolio of perspectives to be able to grasp the wide range of the field. We employed workshop techniques that are designed to capture the plentiful texture of the object of design but also to nudge experts out of their comfort zone to get them to re-examine their perspectives.

Central to our task was to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and actions of people in general. We chose to work with the topic of metaphors to create a common ground. Gathering a variety of points of view that then were to be negotiated, diverged and transformed, turned out to be an innovative way to present their individual efficacy back to the group.

“To be able to gauge, and see the efficacy of the metaphor each participant was asked to build a model of it. This was modeled upon an invention from the future, thereby releasing it from being bound to current technologies.� It was the tool with which financial literacy could be achieved and the global problems deriving from its absence decreased.


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“The result was striking because it very effectively illustrated what the participants thought was the problem and where they thought solutions might lie.� This approach was preferred over mere discussions of the problems and its solutions. Because when asking people a theoretical question they will answer it with abstractions. When asking them to make something as the answer to the question it will show, in the way the solution is created and explained, answers to questions you could have never asked.

The overall objective of this whole process is of course to create an exhibition that is accessible to everyone, with different sensitivities to the subjects at hand. It is important in the process of interpretation to be humble towards this point to not alienate people on the basis of for example prior knowledge. This is something we always strive for at Gagarin and a central part of our design approach.


∙ How we do it

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How we do it - The Journey At Gagarin, we utilize an iterative design process that takes us from the original ‘light bulb idea’ all the way to a final product. We continually test the value of our ideas by using an operative image (a sketch / prototype / model) as a tool for the team and the customer, to enhance the idea and ensure a high quality outcome.

This requires our thinking to expand into a wider search space… to think

“We utilize an iterative design process that takes us from the original ‘light bulb idea’ all the way to a final product”

“outside of the box” in order for us to attain new, dynamic and ground breaking visions. Constantly venturing into “unthoughtof territory” but at the same time keeping the process on a distinct path of progress makes Gagarin’s team unique in the field.


The process ∙

The Process Depending on the needs of our clients, we can undertake the entire process or only carry out part of a project. Our goal is to constantly improve the

quality of our work and the nature of creative culture. We passionately believe in continually striving to do better, and effective processing is the key to our success.

1. Preparation

2. Concept and planning

3. Pre-production

In the preparation phase, we analyze the needs and the expectations of our clients and simultaneously study the general needs of the end users i.e. the visitors of the museum. Furthermore we become acquainted with the topics and the stories that are to be told as part of the exhibition.

Here we gain an in-depth insight into the topic involved with our client. Also we familiarize ourselves with the scenario/exhibition space. In this phase we start on the actual concept design work. We define the interaction, the content and the applicable technology. Having done this we are ready to make a project plan including time and cost plans.

In the pre-production phase, we work on further advancing our concept and implementations. Where applicable we create prototypes and we test them with the target groups. The storytelling part of the work is finalized with a manuscript and in some cases a storyboard. The budget is revised and approved and we begin the development phase of the project.

4. Development

5. Deployment

6. Support

The development phase consists of close collaboration between all stakeholders. The final versions of the user interfaces are designed and here we will finalize all the interactive parts of our solutions. All the necessary content is developed and the technology is completed with intuitive programming and a suitable hardware setup. This phase ends with thorough tests.

Next comes the deployment and delivery phase. Here we deliver our solutions to our customer. We complete the final testing on location and we go through an approval session with our client. We also train the staff upon request.

Details of support are defined with the clients at the final stage of the development phase. Support is provided both remotely and on location.

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Over the past 20 years, we at Gagarin have put great effort into creating a rigorous in-house process. This process enables us to develop and deliver solutions on time and within budget.


“The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes” Marcel Proust

Our Headquarters

Enquiries & Opportunities

Our headquarters are located near the Reykjavik harbour area at Fiskislóð 31, accessed by the third doorway away from the sea.

Please drop us a line to find out more about how we can help you create engaging interactive media experiences for your audiences.

Gagarin Ltd. Fiskislóð 31 101 Reykjavík Iceland Tel: +354 510 9300 www.gagarin.is gagarin@gagarin.is

Gagarin Newsletter 2016  

Gagarin develops highly interactive media solutions that allow people to uniquely experience, understand & share.

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