Nothing extraordinary, just a weed museum
Smiths Falls, Canada
********
Visitor Centre
Nothing extraordinary, just a weed museum
Admittedly, it's almost impossible to say something like "we did an interactive installation about cannabis" while keeping a straight face. Even though legal in some (very few) countries (and kind of legal in a handful of others), marijuana generally carries an aura of taboo which leads to immediate excitement, because human nature. Having said that, we'll try regardless — while avoiding the obvious puns about joint collaboration and high technology.
What happened
A rather big cannabis manufacturer from Canada (one of the only two countries where it's fully fully legal — the other one being Uruguay) invited us to produce two stories: one about how endocannabinoid system works, and another about the history of cannabis. Both were to be displayed at the ******* Visitor Centre in Smiths Falls as a part of the exhibition about, well, cannabis. (The client kindly asked us to not to mention them by name due to very strict Canadian advertising laws.)
Trivia hour
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system.
An interactive exhibition about the endocannabinoid system
We wanted to create something high-tech (oh God, not this pun again), yet natural and physical. This was very much in line with the design of the venue that prominently uses natural materials and colours.
A documentary film about the history of cannabis
The cannabis history film was created as an imitation of a single-shot action movie: the camera would constantly move through historical documents, images, and maps — all animated. We took the viewers through centuries and centuries of history, travelling across time and continents, telling the story through documentary evidence came alive.
Trivia hour, part II
While working on this project, we accumulated a lifetime supply of mildly amusing facts, jokes, and anecdotes about everything cannabis-related. We're looking forward for an invitation to do a TED talk on the subject; meanwhile, did you know that according to a 2012 study, the air in Rome, Bologna, Florence, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Turin and Verona contains traces of marijuana? We're afraid to even imagine what would've happened if these researchers were to take samples in Canada today.
To explain the influence of cannabis on our bodies, we set up a mannequin and projected infographics on it — to show what happens, why, and how. In contrast with the cold sci-fi look of the white body, a physical knob on a deliberately old-school panel was arranged to navigate through the story.
Thank you, Wikipedia, you've been great. In plain English, the endocannabinoid system is a very recent discovery — early 1990s, that is — and it's far from being fully understood, but, simply put, it's a system of cannabinoid receptors that affects vital physiological functions such as sleep, appetite, pain, memory, mood, etc.
How it looked in real life
Credits
Avocado Toast Team
Immersive Director Denis Astakhov
Executive Producers Vadim Vinogorov, Alexander Knyazev
Creative Director Victor Lander

Endocannabinoid System Exhibit
System Design and Development Denis Akopov,
Anton Sosulnikov, Max Harin

Subject Matter Consulting Alexey Utin
Content Production Studio Infografika
On-site Supervision Denis Astakhov

The History Of Cannabis: A Trip Through Time.
Animated video.
Motion Design Wireframe
Music & SFX waveme.pro

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