Colossal Squid





Te Papa Museum of New Zealand




Wellington, New Zealand




Design & Build


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The squid interactives are a series of fun, educational digital experiences that allow visitors to Te Papa to learn about the Colossal Squid's‚ life, body, environment and how it managed to end up in Te Papa.

The Colossal Squid project was one of our earliest installations, but still is a great example of an approach to developing a digital visitor experience that combines online engagement with kiosk-based interactives.

We began by working with Te Papa’s expert team of marine scientists and curators. The objective was to interpret the life, environment and anatomy of the squid – which is the cornerstone of the exhibition in the Colossal Squid exhibition at Te Papa.

The digital work had to work in the museum and also online, for the thousands of interested people who couldn’t make it to see it in person.

We began with a concept that had a Kids National Geographic feel, that provides a sense of discovery and exploration but is fun at the same time. We spend a lot of time ensuring that the look and feel of the interactives we create have a distinct personality and tone that reflects the content and the intended audience. 


There are four interactives as part of the system, all accessible online and in the museum.

- A diary of the life of the squid – how it got to Te Papa as told through the extensive video diaries of Te Papa’s marine biology staff.

- A 3D interactive model of the squid that shows it’s external and internal features, including the beak and tiny mouth that it slowly devours it’s prey with..

- A depth-finder game where by going deeper and deeper into the ocean, querying animals and objects on the way down, the visitor finally reaches the depth of the Colossal Squid – which explains why they are so rare, and just how deep fishing boats are fishing in the Deep Southern Ocean

- The Build a Squid Game – where you customize your own Colossal Squid, name it and then and set it free. You can find it again online, or when you visit the exhibition at the kiosks, and see what your squid has been up to.

The addictive game component, where visitors build their own squid and release it into the wild was a marketing dream, with over 40,000 squid released within the first month.

To see the interactives visit Te Papa, or online at