Design For Science Exhibition | SKIN: Living Armor, Evolving Identity

The California Academy of Sciences' exhibit, Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity, opened on June 14, and John Murray Productions is very excited to be a part of the design for the science exhibition.

We worked closely with the team at CAS to execute their unique vision for this immersive new addition to the Academy. Here is what the academy has to say about our work for the design of the science exhibition:

“Skin is the way we face our world. Uniquely personal yet universal, this complex organ forms a living interface between organisms and their environment. In this immersive new exhibit, discover the shape-shifting, color-changing, and ever-evolving nature of skin. From thick-skinned armadillos, rhinoceros, and turtles to colorful insects and birds, dynamic displays of Academy specimen reveal the extreme protection that skin can offer while multimedia experiences show visitors how animals heal in extraordinary ways. Interactive elements throughout the exhibit invite visitors to stimulate their own skin’s array of sense to uncover how we perceive temperature, vibration, and pressure. Plus, explore the layers of meaning humans have associated with skin color throughout history and how this shapes the way we view, interact with, and identify ourselves and each other in a modern world.”

The process began with the exhibit design team at the Academy presenting our project management team with 3D renderings of their vision. We then devised a production schedule, broke the exhibit into sections, and began creating build drawings used to turn their vision into reality. Working collaboratively with the Academy over many months, we problem solved and value-engineered our way to the finished product. 

Our fabrication team worked tirelessly in the shop, rising to the challenge of meeting the high-quality standards expected from CAS. And the install team worked for several weeks to get everything in place, including the installation of a real rhinoceros from the Academy’s collection. 

This project is our most ambitious in our 30 years in business, and we are so proud of our work with one of California’s premier educational institutions. Please go check it out for yourself. It’s a fabulous exhibit!


Interested in learning more about JMP and our projects? Read on below to discover other work we have done in the past, or contact us to learn how we can help you turn your ideas into reality.

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