Design Zone - Now Open!

What does it take to create an addictive and fun videogame? How many beats per second does a DJ need to get bodies moving on the dance floor? What goes behind creating a roller coaster or a skate park that produces the most fun and biggest thrills?

Discover the secrets behind how video game developers, music producers, roller coaster designers and other creative problem solvers do what they do in this new exhibit! 

Design Zone is a highly interactive, hands-on exhibition where visitors can explore a variety of creative concepts to learn the processes and tools needed to create a successful design. Design Zone is organized into three thematic zones, all highlighting the importance of science and mathematical thinking in areas critical to building creativity and innovation: art, music, and engineering.

Design Zone is included with general admission to the Museum; free for Museum members!

Design Zone’s themed areas include:

Visitors celebrate when catapult machine makes a ball in the target in Design Zone


Visitors design their own 2-D and 3-D art and explore visual creativity in the Videogame Design Lab, Architecture Studio, and the Digital Design Domain. Area highlights include Drawing in Motion, where visitors use a digital pen to trace a line art masterpiece on a giant screen and create their own images, and Jump on it—similar to many classic arcade games—where visitors choose a character, adjust the jump power and gravity, and land on targets to collect points.

Visitors mix beats as a DJ and others dance in music section of Design Zone exhibit


Visitors explore relationships between length and pitch in musical instruments, ratios and rhythms, and visual representations of sound in On Stage!, Dance Party, and the DJ Recording Studio. Area highlights include Laser Light DJ where visitors discover how laser light show technicians create mesmerizing patterns, and Turntables, where they can practice their DJ skills by trying to seamlessly match beats per minute to the tempo of a new song.

Parents help young daughter on fast track interavtive in Design Zone


Visitors experience the Theme Park and the Action Sports Arena where they’ll discover the math and physics behind anything that moves. Area highlights include Bike Race, where they can climb into bike stations, test gear combinations, and compete in a virtual race, and Design a Skate Park where visitors manipulate slope to create essential skate park features, test their design with a virtual skater and ride the course!

Design Zone is Great for School Groups!

Design Zone shows students many fun, creative applications for common mathematical concepts. They will see that math is not just a subject in school, but that it is used by innovators in exciting fields such as video game design and music production. 

Book your trip today and add on one of our guided programs for Design Zone!

STEAM: Beyond Escher’s Universe – M.C. Escher was many things: an artist, an astronomer, a mathematician, a traveler. Escher’s Universe, shown in the Chaffee Planetarium, explores Escher’s continuous search for knowledge and his unique ability to join science, math, and art. Following this one-of-a-kind art documentary, students will find inspiration throughout GRPM exhibits to create their own versions of Escher’s most iconic works–tessellations.

STEAM: Design with littleBits – During this design program, students become real engineers and are challenged to create an invention using design thinking strategies! Using littleBits electronic building blocks to construct their inventions, students take ownership of their own creations while learning how to prototype, iterate, fail, and verbalize their ideas while working in teams


The Design Zone Educator’s Guide can help you prepare and plan how to connect curriculum objectives and facilitate learning in the exhibit. 

Sponsored By:



The creation of Design Zone was made possible by the generous support of the National Science Foundation. The exhibition was produced and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).