American Writers Museum


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.