MORPH’D – Florida Aquarium

Tampa, FL

At The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida, MORPH’D features nearly 20 unique species from around the globe. 

The installation takes guests on a free-flowing journey through the process of adaptation for survival in the animal kingdom.

At IDEAS, we conceptualized and designed more than 24 interactive elements for the experience.

These design features help present the unique adaptations of species like axolotls, paddlefish and electric eels. In turn, they uniquely and engagingly illustrate how the species have withstood the rigors of natural selection.

IDEAS’ Pro Partners and Results

Our designers worked with a team of fabricators and production partners, including HD Interactive.

Its team developed the touch screen content, including a projection globe that guests can use to explore how adaptation has shaped animals living in some of Earth’s most extreme environments.

All Pro Systems led AV integration, while Artistic Contractors, Inc. built the physical show elements.

These include a virtual reality periscope that allows guests to experience the world through a four-eyed fish’s point of view — an animal that sees above and below the water simultaneously.

Working in collaboration with The Florida Aquarium’s exhibit design and animal care experts, we led this unique experience’s story development and creative direction.

The key was to introduce guests to the wondrous and universal process of adaptation.

“Our creative team approached MORPH’D asking the question, ‘what do guests most want to do when they visit an aquarium?’ Our StoryJam™ process showed that the answer was to get inside the habitat with an animal. So, we flipped that on its head and devised some clever ways to bring the animal’s perspective out into the gallery and into our guests’ hands, minds, and hearts.”

—Mike Yager, IDEAS Executive VP

Immersive Work and Rich Initiatives

In addition to the innovative hands-on interactives, we conceived and developed rich media content for 20 touch screens.

These present engaging information about each of the gallery’s animals through dynamic videos, animations and games.

“The IDEAS team brought a real sense of play and discovery to MORPH’D that helped convey the importance of our animals in visceral ways. It’s fresh, fun, and our guests are absolutely thrilled!”

—Pete Colangelo, Senior Director of Creative Services for The Florida Aquarium

MORPH’D is helping kick off a multiyear, $40 million expansion for The Florida Aquarium.

For us at IDEAS, it represents a breakthrough in story-driven exhibit design.

“Our team champions the importance of story in carefully curated experiences like aquariums,” says IDEAS Chief Storytelling Officer Bob Allen.

“MORPH’D uses narrative to get guests to care about these incredible animals — the real celebrities, helping them understand that adaptation is something shared by all species, including homo sapiens!”

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