The Blocks to Buildings Installation is a collaboration between Thinkingbox and a group of graduate students at the Center for Digital Media. 

The goal of the project was to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of an interactive installation that took real-world interactions (building with simple blocks) and translated/augmented the experience in a virtual world.

My contribution in this project includes UX research, UX design, idea brainstorming, and graphic design.

User Experience

The Idea


To build a Sustainable Metropolitan City - Digital + OOH Activation at Science World

A sustainable city building installation for users to participate in what our city could look like in the future.

The installation aimed to:

● Provide multiple choices of buildings for users to apply into their city

● Assign each building a different level of environmental impact (Such as CO2


● Allow users to build their own cities and see how “green” their cities are

● Put each city on one planet and export a digital version as takeaways for users

● Users can walk through planet by planet to see city views that were built by different users

Target audience

The installation aims to raise the awareness of how to make the world more sustainable through an engaging and fun city building activation. Our preliminary design will target the general public in metro Vancouver who go to museums such as Science World in their spare time. In order to discover the possible needs and requirements of our stakeholder/client, we conducted an interview with Science World staff and discussed what are the KPIs and how they measure success for each exhibition.

Core mechanic

User will be given a tablet as the medium for input, multiple physical blocks as the tool to conduct interaction, and a big screen aside will display the output. Users have to put these blocks onto the iPad to build their city in virtual. A simple user flow as following:

User Experience Map




The Client


With the focus on learning, this installation is currently best suited for educational institutions. For the purpose of this MVP, we chose Science World as our client.

Science World’s mission is as follows: Through science and nature, we ignite wonder and empower dreams. With that in mind, we focused our installation on nature and, through building and collaboration, igniting wonder. Our installation also fit in with their vision, which specifies that “within a generation, Canada will be a country of thriving, sustainable communities rooted in scientific literacy, technological innovation, and a deep connection to nature.”

These ideas fundamentally changed the way we thought of measuring success. Instead of traditional KPI metrics, we knew that successful learning should be our key measurement.

With that in mind, we reached out to Science World to discover how they measure the

success of their current exhibits.



Science World uses two papers to outline and test the success of their exhibitions. The first, “Assessing Exhibit for Learning in Science Centers: A Practical Tool” (by Chantal Barriault) provides a way to quantifiably measure qualitative and overseved data.

There are three stages to this measurement:

Initiation Behaviors - Walking up to exhibit, watching someone else participate in exhibit, initial participation in the exhibit

Transition Behaviors - Repeating the activity, expressing positive emotional response in

reaction to engaging in activity

Breakthrough behaviors - Referring to past experiences while engaging in the activity,

seeking and sharing information, engaging in exploratory behavior (repeating activity to

achieve different outcomes, remaining on task for 5+ minutes)



©2021 by Mika Chang | Design Strategist & UX Architect

New York  All Rights Reserved.

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