William G. Russell Meteorite Collection
The vision of the University of Louisville Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium was to create an exhibit showcasing the extensive William G. Russell Meteorite Collection and tell an engaging story about the origins of the solar system—bringing outer space down to earth.
We worked with Planetarium Director Tom Tretter to learn about meteorites and Mr. Russell’s family to better understand this amateur collector, an outer space enthusiast who collected more than 130 specimens. School groups are a large target audience for the Planetarium, and we dug deep to find kid-friendly content that was scientifically accurate—such as the top of your fridge probably containing space dust. To make the most of the exhibit space, one curving wall of the Planetarium lobby, we created a colorful, playful design in a minimalist style that draws visitors’ attention to the meteorites inside cases that we designed and fabricated. Visitors can touch a few of the meteorites—brushing their fingers against outer space in the process.
The result? A fun, family-friendly, informative experience that makes meteorites and the solar system understandable yet exciting. Having learned about outer space, visitors leave with an impulse to look up into the night sky, hoping to see a falling “star” themselves.
“The exhibit itself is so fascinating and gives so much information about the formation of the solar system.”Paula McGuffey