the world's largest planetarium in 2020



The Shanghai Planetarium‘s goal is to be the world’s largest planetarium, which will serve as an educational and entertaining site for the citizens. Designed by Ennead Architects, its dome covers 38,000 square meters.



Architectural Renderings


On-site Construction


Design Challenge

With over 50 interactive and immersive exhibition experiences at the Shanghai Planetarium, the goal is to create a cohesive user experience, supporting the futuristic vision for the Shanghai Planetarium in 2020. Working with the exhibition design team at Xenario, below are 2 examples of the design approach to each digital interactive.


Interactive 01 — Exploring our most volcanic moon

This interactive called Turbulent Io is located on the left side of the rendering seen below. Its goal is to simulate how magnetic fields from Jupiter and its orbiting moons influence the volcanic activity on moon Io. A 3D projection animates interactive volcanic eruptions, as a user interacts with the digital touchscreen.


The User Journey


Step 1 — Attract

A looping animation of Jupiter and its orbiting moons. User can tap anywhere to begin the experience.

Step 2 — Interact

From a bird’s eye perspective, user can drag moon Io around Jupiter to see its magnetic field effects over time.

Step 3 — Discover

This simple user experience shows how Io erupts with volcanic activity, and morphs in shape as it orbits around Jupiter.


Interactive 02 —
Exploring our solar system

The Solar System interactive is a large-scale paneled wall lined with interactive touchscreens, which invites visitors to touch the wall and learn more about our solar system. The sketch below is an early example of how the space is envisioned to look like.

Exploring Each Planet

Step 1 — Attract

User begins exploring Mars by tapping anywhere on the planet.

Step 2 — Interact

This prompts animated description of Mars. User can explore other planets or curated categories.

Step 3 — Discover

Tapping on categories expands the curated menu, and collapses the planet menu so the user can focus on the main content.




Agency — Xenario Inc
Architects — Ennead Architects
Creative Direction — Alexander Brandt
Art Direction — Handson
User Experience Design — Handson
Branding + Art Direction — Jessica Yang
Animation — Basso Wu