Archive for the ‘ Cool Stuff ’ Category


July 16th, 2014 by
Posted in Cool Stuff

School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean that learning should end! Now is a great time of year to find different learning experiences outside the classroom. I grew up around this area and have many fond memories of day trips to different sites as a kid. Working at Taylor Studios I’ve also had the opportunity to explore other notable nearby museums and nature centers that have become favorites as well.

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Matt Wiley

November 22nd, 2013 by

If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you might have noticed photos from this past year of spooky trees, giant old cameras, or huge pocketwatches!

These are all smaller components of exhibits we just completed at the Lincoln Heritage Museum in Lincoln, IL. Mark McDonald from Illinois Stories filmed a really nice special on the exhibit. Check out the video after the jump! (more…)


August 21st, 2013 by
Posted in Cool Stuff

This week I had the chance to delve into some industry research and I discovered some pretty cool ideas and products. Every designer desires to create solutions to age-old problems and find new ways to live our daily lives. Some quick surfing through the many great design websites out there is a great way to jump start your brain! Check out my finds! (more…)


July 26th, 2013 by

Earlier this month, I was in Colorado and went to Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the first time. I hardly have words to express the multi-sensory experience I was able to partake in. Red Rocks is the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. Stationed between two monoliths, each over three hundred feet tall, and overlooking the natural surroundings and the distant city of Denver, it would be hard to top. I was in complete awe— sharing the moment with over 9,000 others—as the Avett Brothers took the stage. Now, as tempted as I am to write a concert review (one word—amazing!), my focus shifts back to the venue. Words and pictures will hardly do it justice, but the fantastic outdoor space is worth exploring.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is one of, if not the, most perfect intentionally integrated outdoor environments. Concerts were first held here in the early 1900s and in 1927, the space was bought by the City of Denver and further developed as a venue for concerts, shows, and special events, with a focus on preserving the natural beauty of the area. Not only does the site inspire awe with its beauty, but it has been integrated effectively as well. While most of us are not so lucky as to have breathtaking monoliths to our left and our right, we can still make an effort to adapt to and integrate alongside our natural environment.

It may seem obvious, but when looking to develop your site, first consider what is already there. Are there naturally occurring elements that should be highlighted? Certain areas that attract certain wildlife? Make sure your site is set up to enhance, and not take away. This refers to resources as well as aesthetics. There is nothing wrong with diverting the eye from specific elements, but in some cases, if you’ve got it—flaunt it! If the marsh is the focus, be sure it does not become overshadowed. Interpretation should serve as an opportunity to enhancement visitor experience, not draw attention away from what is actually there.

In addition to utilizing the space effectively, Red Rocks made a point of honoring the natural environment. Typical precautions such as proper recycling, waste disposal, and not disrupting or destroying the landscape were promoted with tact. A concerted effort was also taken to encourage visitors to engage in the environment respectfully (hiking, biking, etc.) and the visitor center offered historical and geological information about the site. Opportunities to volunteer or provide monetary support were also readily available. Encouraging visitors to connect with your site, keeps them caring and coming back for more.

Red Rocks offers more than a concert venue, it’s an opportunity to be in touch with our surroundings. How does your site connect with its natural surroundings? How do you encourage visitors to engage and explore? Consider these elements when thinking about the focus and opportunities for your site. If you’re really lucky, maybe your boss will allow you to ‘do some research’ and go to Red Rocks yourself. I assure you it will be an informative and memorable experience!


March 14th, 2013 by
Posted in Cool Stuff

Taylor Studios in now on Instagram. On what?  Instagram! As smart phones become more of a necessity than a novelty, we should all be embracing the new features that are available.  As an exhibition design and fabrication firm, a heavy emphasis is placed on visuals and we’ve found Instagrams’ interface to be the perfect medium for sharing. Instagram serves as a ‘visual feed,’ offering a place where your happenings and highlights can be showcased through pictures.

The pictures can also be accompanied by hashtags (words preceded by a # sign) that are used to help classify and categorize photos enabling you to reach out and connect to other users with shared interests. Broad terms like #museum #wildlife and #nature cue into general categories, but more specific hashtags can also be used to cue into special events, areas, or exhibit highlights. This is a great way to get your photos in front of people who may not already be aware of your site and its offerings.

In addition to the photo and hashtags, location can also be documented and photos can be explored via the Photo Map. Instagram creates a map based on where images are taken and tagged. That means, as areas are explored, the photos taken can be linked to that location. Establishing your location as a check point and encouraging visitors to tag their photos there will allow you to see how visitors are interacting with your site and what they deem ‘photo worthy.’

As a company that does a lot of traveling, the photo map feature is great because we are able to tag photos taken on site as we install exhibits, travel to conferences, and explore opportunities, and present that information in our map view. It will be neat to see as TSI continues to cover the country (and others, like China!) with our adventures and installations.

So—are you ready to start visually showcasing your site? It is easy (and free!) to set up an account, install the app on your smartphone and begin sharing and reaching out to potential visitors.

And of course, we’d love to have you follow us too! No smart phone? No problem, you can still view our Instagram Feed or via our Facebook Page. Happy posting!

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