Since 1989, Quatrefoil has grown from four founding partners into a cohesive, multidisciplinary team, working together to achieve excellence in museum exhibits and experiences.
Founding Partner | Design
Founding Partner | Vice President
Founding Partner | Technology Director
Partner | Chief Operating Officer
Michael W. Burns
A stunning display of historic and rare coins, multimedia, memorable interactives and a factory tour all set the stage for visitors to travel through the United States Mint's past to the present. This 18,000-square-foot visitor tour experience was developed, designed, built and installed by Quatrefoil.
Quatrefoil designed and built this unique multimedia experience focused on the Pittsburgh region’s transformation from a steel-based economy into a thriving information hub. It incorporates an oral history listening space, dynamic digital graphics and an interactive projection.
Beginning with a Master Plan and continuing through design and fabrication, Quatrefoil worked with the National Zoo to create the new Elephant Trails experience. This includes an outdoor pavilion with interactives developed to inspire visitors to learn more about the elephants and their habitat, and to take action on their behalf.
Quatrefoil helped Discovery Place realize its new vision as a place to ignite wonder by providing extraordinary experiences. We developed, designed and built 15,000 square feet of new exhibitions. THEM explores health and the human body as an ecosystem of flora and fauna, Project Build discusses dwellings as forms of shelter and expression, and Fantastic Frogs combines live animals with a graphic novel approach.
Quatrefoil designed this interactive experience to create opportunities for visitors to explore how renewable energy resources are harnessed and delivered. The activities also address the challenges and benefits of renewable energy resources. Situated in an outdoor courtyard overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the activities and play spaces are attractive to family audiences.
This museum, dedicated to the spirit and fortitude of climbers who fill the legends of mountaineering history, was designed and built by Quatrefoil. Through personal stories and a wide variety of interactives and media, visitors are drawn into the art, skill and camaraderie of mountaineering.
We develop custom immersive museum exhibitions and experiences. Quatrefoil collaborates with you to realize the potential of your stories, bringing them to life by creating places for visitors to gather, play, and learn.
Our clients include history and cultural museums, science and technology centers, children’s museums and others—local and national, large and small.
Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum
Boulder History Museum
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Carnegie Science Center
Central High Museum
Children’s Inn At NIH
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Delta Cultural Center
Experience Music Project
Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center
Great Lakes Science Center
Greeley History Museum
International Spy Museum
Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame
Lakeport Plantation, Arkansas State University
Liberty Science Center
The Library of Congress
The Library of Virginia
Maryland Science Center
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of the Cherokee Strip
Museum of the Great Plains
National Air and Space Museum
National Aquarium in Baltimore
National Building Museum
National Museum of African Art
National Museum of American History
National Museum of the American Indian
National Museum of Dentistry
National Postal Museum
Natural Science Center
National Zoological Park
PNC Legacy Project
Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
Smithsonian Folklife Programs
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services
Space Science Institute
The Tech Museum of Innovation
Telluride Historical Museum
Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
US Bureau of Engraving and Printing
US Census Bureau
US Department of Energy
US Department of Agriculture
US Food and Drug Administration
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Mint at Philadelphia
Walters Art Museum
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Westmoreland American Museum of Art
White House Historical Association
Yale University Art Gallery
Putting the "Active" in Interactive
Senior Exhibit Designer and Developer
LEED Green Associate
What is an interactive?
Compiled from Dictionary websites :
We in the museum world use the word interactive to apply to active participation by the visitor. Contrast interactive with active or reactive. Is pushing a button, watching a video or turning a flipbook really interactive?
A relatively simple exhibit I developed for Discovery Place, Design Your Floor Plan is a low tech example of a true interactive because of the fluid interplay of actions and reactions.
The challenge is to design the interior space of a house with a 3-dimensional floor plan, by moving walls, furniture and people. Visitors interact with each other and with the exhibit to make changes and adjust the design.
What is space to an architect? How do they design space? An architect uses many tools, from sketching to drafting to building models. I wanted to develop an activity for the visitor to think and design as an architect in a developmentally appropriate way for 8-14 year olds. Instead of a using a pencil and paper for drawing a 2-dimensional floor plan, the visitor manipulates extruded walls, furniture and people to create a 3-dimensional model for exploring space.
Through prototyping, I learned what was working and what was not. A variety of wall modules and simple block furniture maximized flexibility and versatility. The conceptual detailing of the materials allowed for personal interpretation; a low wall was used as a bed, a bed as a closet (by positioning the components upside down or sideways). By adding a few personalized and highly specific objects, such as a bike, one visitor used walls to create ramps, changing his house to fit his needs.
This particular “interactive” illustrates the design process. By exploring the possibilities, participants play with relationships between spaces and potential furnishing opportunities to create an optimal layout. There is no right answer, but instead endless possibilities for creative problem solving. They soon discover that design is fluid and always changing.
“There’s no space leftover for a bathroom, I’ll have to put this toilet in the bedroom or move some of the walls.”
“It’s O.K. if we don’t have a dining room. I like eating in the kitchen.”
“If I use this low wall, people can look into my bedroom.”
As a designer and developer, I strive to create activities for exploring content through active learning. By flipping a panel, or answering a question, one acquires information. By providing an activity for role playing and exploration, there is abundant room for self expression and experiential learning. Visitors use their hands and minds to interact with the world, to increase their understanding of the content and to reach their own conclusions.
For museums, a true interactive satisfies many goals. It provides an open-ended, visitor-driven experience, so it’s different for the visitor every time. It promotes conversations and collaboration as well as critical thinking and creativity. And most of all, it is fun and engaging for all ages.
Abbie Chessler and Quatrefoil Associates have received the Creative Industry Innovation Award from the Prince Georges Arts and Humanities Council. This award is for our contribution to our community in the arts via Quatrefoil's C Street Gallery, our design team's organizing of the 2012 Laurel Art Bike Brigade and workshops and Abbie's work on the Laurel Arts District Committee and helping to organize the inaugural C Street Arts Festival.
Quatrefoil is pleased to announce that the building for the PNC Bank Legacy Project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania received an honor award from the American Institute of Architects. The exhibition we developed and designed enables passersby to explore Pittsburgh’s past through interactive projections, oral histories, and digital displays.WTAE Pittsburgh - Sally Wiggin Tours PNC Legacy Project’s Latest Endeavor
Quatrefoil finished installing new exhibitry for Lakeport Plantation, the last antebellum plantation home along the Mississippi River in Arkansas. The elegant casework in this carefully restored building helps to showcase the artifacts and history of the people who lived and labored there, while allowing the most important artifact, the house itself, to shine without distraction.
“The exhibits look fabulous!!!!”
– Ruth Hawkins, Director
Arkansas Heritage Sites, Arkansas State University
We are pleased to announce the opening of the United States Mint Visitor Tour in Philadelphia, PA, which Quatrefoil designed, developed, and fabricated on time and on budget. Two-story-high projections, tactile interactives, a factory tour, and multimedia displays engage visitors and illustrate the interwoven histories of our nation and the United States Mint.WTXF-TV Fox 29 News – New United States Mint Tour Unveiled for Independence Day
All material contained herein Copyright © 2012 Quatrefoil