Design Zone

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 was a highly interactive, hands-on exhibition where visitors explored a variety of creative concepts to learn the processes and tools needed to create a successful design. Design Zone was 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’s themed areas include:

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


Visitors designed 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 included Drawing in Motion, where visitors used 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 chose a character, adjusted the jump power and gravity, and landed on targets to collect points.

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


Visitors explored 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 included Laser Light DJ where visitors discovered how laser light show technicians create mesmerizing patterns, and Turntables, where they practiced 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 experienced the Theme Park and the Action Sports Arena where they discovered the math and physics behind anything that moves. Area highlights included Bike Race, where they climbed into bike stations, tested gear combinations, and competed in a virtual race, and Design a Skate Park where visitors manipulated slope to create essential skate park features, tested their design with a virtual skater and rode the course!

Design Zone was at the GRPM from October 19, 2019 and closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. 

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).