American Writers Museum


The Project

Develop a series of unique interactive experiences that encourage visitors to learn about literature and interact with the English language in fun and engaging ways.

Our Role

Silver Oaks was excited to be a part of the creative team for the American Writers Museum — the first museum dedicated solely to exploring how writers have influenced Americans' daily lives, history and culture. With a strong emphasis on visitor interaction with literature and its authors, technology is at the heart of the museum experience. Silver Oaks designed and produced five of the interactive programs.

  • "Hometown Authors" uses a map-based interface, where visitors can search by state to view a list of nearby authors and then learn more about them and their major works.

  • "Communities Map" is displayed on a 75" touchscreen featuring a map of the Chicago area. highlighting significant literary institutions and organizations that have been instrumental in developing this "City of Writers." Visitors use a timeline interface integrated with the large map to learn more about the key literary locations.

  • "Favorites" is a dual-screen interactive program that allows visitors to vote for their favorite American literary works. As part of the voting experience, they create a custom bookmark that features their top five favorites, which they can email to themselves as a 'takeaway'. Visitor votes are tracked and displayed on a leaderboard, listing the visitors' top picks for American authors and works.

  • "Word Play" allows visitors to engage with famous literary works spanning 12 genres. Interacting with a 49" touch-table, visitors use a "Mad Libs-esque" interface to play in a one-player or two-player game mode. The goal is to pull words from the word bank to fill in the blanks. Scoring is based not only on filling in a blank, but making a grammatically correct selection. Bonus points are awarded if the match uses the author's original word.

  • "Story Canvas" is a free-form interactive experience that allows visitors to use an assortment of word tiles on a touch-table to create their own story. Visitors can collaborate and have fun building off of each others' creations in very organic and unrestrained manner.