After months of collaboration, LSA Technology Services’ work will be apparent in the U-M Museum of Natural History opening on April 14, 2019. The museum is housed in the Biological Sciences Building (BSB), which is one of the largest and most interactive teaching and research facilities of its kind among higher education institutions.
The grand opening was preceded by months of work by LSA Technology Services. Conference rooms, classrooms, and presentation spaces were outfitted with a multitude of technical features and innovations. The museum website also required a brand new look to match its physical space.
Solving tech puzzles
The BSB houses a large variety of technologies that ISS Manager of Engineering & Design Karl Aldag and his team were able to provide input on throughout the construction process. Because of this, much of the technology these rooms house meets LSA standards, and will be serviced by the ISS Technical Assistance Group, managed by Jean Arnold.
Lynne Friman, capital project manager for LSA Facilities and project manager for UMMNH, described her collaboration with ISS as bringing the big picture to life. Aldag and his team’s engineering expertise outfitted the space to suit the needs and vision of all involved, including the museum and the science community that resides in the building. “We are really happy to have them as partners. We have a really good relationship,” said Friman of her collaboration with ISS.
Examples of this creative and collaborative work are The Science Forum and the team-based learning classroom. The forum presentation space is located outside the entrance for the Planetarium & Dome Theater and needed a visually stunning solution. This area will house the equivalent of nine vertical monitors in an LED format to display films, presentations, and other visually rich media. The team-based learning classroom is located on the main level and is one of the most technologically advanced classrooms on campus.
Aldag compares finding AV solutions to solving puzzles: “There is no such thing as a standard. It’s about finding a bunch of different puzzle pieces and integrating them together to get the required outcome.”
“The collaboration between the museum, BSB, and LSA Technology Services exemplifies our department’s vision to anticipate, innovate, and evolve so that we, our services, and technology are an integral part of each and every person’s life-long LSA experience.”KARL ALDAG
A new web presence
With all of this exciting technology to enhance the museum’s collection, it’s no wonder the museum event and public relations staff are eager to share it with the public. To coincide with the announcement of the museum opening, Lori Dick, manager of marketing and communications for UMMNH, and Elizabeth Asteriou, communications and events coordinator with LSA Undergraduate Events & Communications, collaborated with LSA Technology Services’ Web Services and Marketing teams to launch the new museum website.
The visitor experience was the driving force between both the physical and online space of the museum. The Web Services team had around eight months to develop and deploy a new website to fit a vision that Dick and Asteriou created to match the building’s physical aesthetics. Members of the team also worked closely with Asteriou on the information architecture for the website to ensure no content was lost in the migration and that the site was easily accessible.
“I’ve been so pleased with the Web Services team, [they] were so great to work with. They worked with the ideas we came up with to develop a plan that met our goals of serving the visitor and making it visually impactful,” said Dick. Asteriou said what she loves about the new website is that the possibilities for future developments are endless.
Aldag sums it up: “The collaboration between the museum, BSB, and LSA Technology Services exemplifies our department’s vision to anticipate, innovate, and evolve so that we, our services, and technology are an integral part of each and every person’s life-long LSA experience.”
A version of this story was originally published by LSA Technology Services.