Infant’s Mobile

The Infant Area needed a mobile so that parents could experiment with their children to discover which of various optical stimuli they reacted to most strongly. Monochromatic or colored? Stripes or squares? High contrast or low? Etc., etc.

I designed the mobile so that it could be folded up out of the way when not in use. Two pieces of oak, routered with a nice ogee, and joined with a hinge I found in the shop served nicely.  I put a small piece of steel on the lower half of the hinge and a magnet on the upper half so that it would stay firmly in place when in the up position.  Both positions can be seen below.

When the mobile is in the down position, the parent can choose from several sets of pillows that can hang from the hook at the end of the extended arm of the mobile.  These sets of pillows provide the contrasting stimuli for the children to observe.  See below:

Finally, I had to create a display board for a graphics panel that held laminated sets of instructions for the various experiments the parents could try.  We had tried all sorts of ways to make these laminated sheets available – hanging from hooks, in folders on the wall, Velcro – none seemed satisfactory for one reason or another.  So I tried my favorite standby solution for nearly all museum design projects: magnets.  I purchased one of those magnetic strips that people use to hang kitchen knives and mounted it to the bottom of the graphics panel, then encased it in a piece of blue Plexi left over from the Underwater Scene.  I cut small squares of shim stock and placed then on the back of the instruction sheets before they were laminated and – presto! – free hanging instruction sheets: