Vanderbilt Brain Institute

Building a Healthcare System Brand
Using engaging interactive exhibits Anode developed a unique strategy to educate Vanderbilt patients and visitors while they wait.


Give visitors and patients an interesting glimpse of the brilliant world deep inside our brains, and expose them to how Vanderbilt’s work impacts human life in the areas of mental health and mental illness.


The Vanderbilt One Hundred Oaks facility is a renovated retail space that contains 22 clinics in more than 350,000 square feet. This large complex, with its high volume of daily visitors and patients, is a prime location for fulfilling VBI’s community outreach objectives. Unfortunately, the subject of neurosciences is not one that lay people grasp easily—nor do they arrive with a predisposed interest in the topic.


Create three interactive exhibit areas that engage and entertain visitors in a participatory learning experience that connects with them on a personal level.

Stopping Visitors in Their Tracks with an Interactive Story About the Brain.

People with a destination in mind tend to overlook messages and installations that do not fit the scale of your physical space. For this large corridor at the Vanderbilt One Hundred Oaks facility, Anode created an interactive exhibit space filled with environmental graphics, fabric sails and a bank of five LCD monitors. Each display presents an attract animation featuring a specific brain function. As a visitor approaches each monitor, a hidden proximity sensor detects the movement and plays an educational animation about the respective brain function.

Educating a Visitor on a Mental Health Issue While Keeping the Content Private.

This exhibit creates a more personal setting for visitors and patients to learn about brain chemistry, anatomy and function, and mental health. The challenge was to provide a semi-private space where visitors could explore each topic in detail while listening to audio and video clips about potentially sensitive topics related to mental health.

Anode created a lounge environment incorporating three FireSign touchscreen monitors. Handheld sound wands allow each visitor to intimately hear audio and video clips about the subject matter. Anode worked with Vanderbilt personnel on the proper bench and countertop design for maximum usability. One of the three touchscreen stations was specially designed to be handicap accessible.

Breakthroughs in neuroscience are ongoing, so VBI needs a simple way to update or add information to these touchscreen exhibits. The FireSign Interactive Guide Application allows VBI’s staff to expand the content at any time without the need for outside designers or programmers.

Making a Complex Story Engaging and Interesting.

To illustrate its national prominence as a world-class neuroscience research center, one of the goals of the VBI is to better inform the public about brain science and the ongoing research efforts at Vanderbilt. Two FireSign installations, along with wall graphics, are used to tell these stories through interactive audio and video. Overhead sound domes are used to focus the audio in the area directly in front of the touchscreen displays. This localized audio allows individual users to enjoy the interactive media without disturbing visitors in the nearby waiting area.