Interactive Science Exhibits and Public Art

Genetically Modified Tumor Rat

Challenging commission: Develop a display about the common medical research practice of transferring human DNA into rats.

The stuffed pelt of a lab rat is mechanically animated to represent real animals that are genetically modified to develop human diseases. This rat appears to be sick- or perhaps dead, but it squirms a little when viewers tap on the glass enclosure. Two-way mirrors create infinite reflections to suggest the scale of suffering that is engineered into these living models of human disease. The surprising interactive response and emotional impact of my design greatly exceeded my customer's expectation. Created for The Hall of Transgenetic Organisms in the Schenectady Museum and the Center for Post-Natural History in Pittsburgh.

Richard Pell Director, Center for PostNatural History

“Michael is a brilliant inventor and experiential communicator. I hired Michael to fabricate an exhibit during the earliest stages of beginning our museum. Michael took responsibility for all aspects of the project’s realization from electronics, to mechanics, to taxidermy. Yes, all of that. The project created a compelling and unexpected experience for visitors. I look forward to working with Michael in the future and recommend him as a brilliant conceptual developer. You want him to be a part of the process from the very beginning.”

Top Qualities: Great Results, On Time, Creative