World of Plankton








Featuring the newest form of the World of Plankton

World of Plankton touch pool installation
At the confluence of game design, art, and science the World of Plankton touch pool installation includes a virtual touch-pool aquarium that explains the role of plankton in freshwater ecology. The installation consists of a giant digital touch table where one can capture and explore zooplankton, phytoplankton and fish species, surrounded by an original 32-foot digitally painted mural and an animated Plankton Zoo featuring three-dimensional print sculptures in resin. Visitors can bring the plankton sculptures to life on their mobile devices by scanning QR codes found in the installation to activate original animation and music.


World of Plankton touch pool


Young player of the World of Plankton touch pool

Video of QR AR 3d Plankton print sculpture animations







World of Plankton at the Innovation Playground††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† photos by Carolyn Crowley



Spiny Water Flea††††††††††††††††††† Dinobryon

World of Plankton Spiny Water Flea QR code††††††††††††††††††††† World of Plankton Dinobryon QR code††††
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††


The World of Plankton is an interactive virtual 3 dimensional game-art and science environment designed to viscerally engage the participant at the micro-scale of unseen phytoplankton and zooplankton in order to gain first-hand experience about the drama of underwater life and its potentials for environmental impact.

The project can be experienced as a projected virtual artwork installation in a gallery, a science or arts museum, in VR, or online. Created by a trans-disciplinary group of artists, musicians, game designers, programmers, and scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, we invite you to experience this prototype of the World of Plankton.

The World of Plankton connects learning, experiencing and creating. We are resonating creative artistic inquiry and practice with the evolving research of the Jefferson Project, (a partnership between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM, and The Fund for Lake George in revolutionary environmental monitoring and remediation that combines a network of sensors in and around Lake George in measuring physical, chemical, and biological parameters.)

The World of Plankton seeks ways to expand this inquiry and connect into a broader cultural understanding by creating artworks and environments that will enable us to see and hear what the lake is telling us as a total entity, and lead us to a deeper wisdom about how and why we need to protect our waterways.

Together we are asking the questions that no one discipline alone can ask.

© 2016-2018 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute



This work stems from the Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteDepartment of the Arts and the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program and is an outreach of the Jefferson Project. We are in deep appreciation of the generous support provided by the Rensselaer Knowledge and Innovation Program (KIP), Building a Three Dimensional Model of the Plankton Distribution in Lake George.

Research funding was provided by the Jefferson Project at Lake George, which is a collaboration of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM, and The FUND for Lake George. We are deeply thankful for the support of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute (DFWI) and the Jefferson Project and all the amazing people there who made our student research at Lake George possible.

Additional funding was provided by the School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences (HASS).


Additionally, we gratefully acknowledge the support of the NVIDIA Corporationís Academic Research Grant that enabled the GPU used for this research and 1st Playable Productions for supporting development.


Recent support is also being provided by a grant from NYSCA (The New York State Council on the Arts) in partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund (MAAF)