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Imagine stepping into the landscape of a van Gogh?

When the Philadelphia Museum of Art announced their Dina Wind Power of Art Hackathon 2.0, the Night Kitchen signed up as team Day Bakers. We won the People’s Choice award for Dreamscapes, an app that invites visitors to unlock 3D-enhanced works of art and explore the immersive VR environments they inspire.

We approached the hackathon with the goal of using AR and VR to cultivate visitors’ real space engagement with the museum’s collection and environments. The app rewards visitors for engaging with their favorite artworks on the first floor and encourages them to venture deeper into the galleries on the second floor. We created a site-specific mixed reality experience that entices players to explore the museum’s collection by transforming the spaces around them in playful and compelling ways.

Using the iPad app, visitors search the galleries for paintings that have inspired Dreamscapes, Virtual Reality (VR) panoramic transformations of the museum’s architectural spaces. When visitors “collect” a painting in the first floor galleries, they are rewarded with a 3D “diorama” that overlays the artwork using Augmented Reality (AR). By moving the iPad around, visitors can observe details and perspective, encouraging exploratory close-looking.

As visitors collect paintings they unlock VR spaces on the second floor, encouraging them to explore less-trafficked areas of the museum. To experience an impressionist-inspired eastern setting, a visitor collects Monet’s Japanese Footbridge that unlocks the Japanese Tea House. The experience is nonlinear and can be enjoyed as a visitor naturally explores the galleries. By bringing the paintings and spaces to life, the app encourages visitors to draw connections between objects in the collection and engage in conversation about artistic styles, content and techniques.

A group of people holding up a tablet.
The Night Kitchen team holding a $500 People's Choice Award in front of the museum


  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Hackathon 2.0 WinnerPeople's Choice, 2017