Method Studios

Secret world of butterflies

January 2019

Auckland Museum

We created a digital experience as part of Auckland Museum’s Secret World of Butterflies exhibition that wows visitors and evokes curiosity, playfulness, and wonder.


We wanted to create a compelling and interactive exhibition that combined playfulness with robust science with an immersive and hands-on experience where butterflies truly came to life.

Create your own butterfly and bring it to life in our magical, digital garden. 

Bringing butterflies to life

The Museum was given a collection of 13,000 butterflies by Ray Shannon and the desire was to bring these specimens to life to enhance the visitor experience of this beautiful but static collection.

We created a seamless integration of the physical and digital world with an experience that showcase butterflies like our audience has never seen. A life size, magical digital garden welcomes you as you approach the interactive space within the exhibition. The garden environment has a lush, forest style setting, with foliage and flowers to provide a rich backdrop to the exhibition. The garden features a selection of butterflies with varying colours and characteristics. Throughout the garden, visitors will be able to find the Birdwing butterfly at various points in their life cycle – from egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and of course, butterfly.

Through the use of touch screen interactives, visitors have the opportunity to customise their own butterflies - by colouring them in and selecting various characteristics butterflies use to protect themselves from predators. Once finished they swipe up to ‘release’ their customised butterfly into our digital garden, their butterfly appearing immediately on the projected garden wall directly in front of them.

We were heavily invested in creating an environment that’s true to life – the butterflies have been modelled meticulously and the garden carefully put together to ensure the elements not only fit in together but were relevant to a butterfly’s natural environment.

The whole exhibition is an explorative and interactive learning environment, which aims to surprise and delight all visitors. The immersive butterfly garden brings the story to life and adds a sense of wonder and the joy of being in a rich garden landscape.

Our digital experience delivers a spectacular and immersive way for visitors to enjoy the Shannon collection.