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GIZMODO at Museum of Science and Industry's 2011 Smart Home

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Gizmodo and the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) are teaming up to bring you something amazing this spring - the 2011 Smart Home: Green + Wired exhibit. As the technology partner for the exhibit, We've taken the technologies that change the way we live, work, love, play, think and feel and incorporated them in this year's Smart Home to not only bring Gizmodo to the exhibit but also designate the home as smart living. The Smart Home, a fully-functioning, eco-friendly home built by MSI in 2008, also will feature an interior designed with re-purposed materials; coalescing the past, present and future to redefine what makes a house, a Home.

The Deets

• What
2011 Smart Home
• Where
The Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
• When
April 22, 2011 - January 8, 2012
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Open every day except Christmas Day
• How Much
$25 (includes museum admission)

Since the home's debut, MSI has been redesigning it each year to highlight the most cutting-edge in green living, technology and gadgets. Over 250,000 museum guests have toured the exhibit since its inception. This year the exhibit will run from April 22nd (Earth Day, fittingly) until January 8th, 2012. You can find more information here about the Smart Home exhibit and MSI.

Gizmodo is honored to have been chosen to help produce this exhibit and we're thrilled to be able to display the technology that affects our daily lives in this incredible Smart Home. For all details about the Smart Home exhibit see the 2011 Smart Home page.

Media interested in covering the technology featured in the Smart Home can contact Gawker Media PR Manager Kevin Prince,

For general Smart Home media inquiries, contact Beth Boston, Museum of Science and Industry at

Media invited to preview the home on April 20, 2011

CHICAGO (March 31, 2011)-Past will meet future as the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) unveils its 2011 Smart Home: Green + Wired on Earth Day, April 22, 2011. This year's exhibit will get a completely new look with the help of two new exciting partners-Chicago interior furnishing store Scout and technology blog Gizmodo. The Smart Home exhibit-a fully-functioning, eco-friendly home built on the MSI's grounds-will be redesigned with a couple and their 10-year-old son in mind, and courtesy of Scout and its owner Larry Vodak, the home will feature unique interior pieces that have been repurposed in amazing ways-a different and fun way of recycling in the home. "Since Scout's opening almost seven years ago, we have been singularly devoted to finding and refurbishing select pieces from government offices, schools, universities, courthouses and libraries-and then working on their scale, finish and functionality to give them new life in today's homes," said Larry Vodak, Scout's owner and the Smart Home's 2011 designer. "The goal with the Smart Home is to add these kind of special pieces and create a space that's more functional, more interesting and memorable- bringing together a unique mix of items that bring a clean, timeless utility; an urban freshness; as well as a second-hand comfort and warmth.

Because the Smart Home's interior won't be relying on newly-made items, but rather vintage and "gently used" finds, the space that is ultimately created will be environmentally-friendly, while also offering true character and plenty of stories to tell. Examples of Smart Home design include University of Chicago laboratory cabinets, circa the late 1940s, that have been refurbished to serve as elegant and sophisticated kitchen cabinetry. A large utilitarian storage cabinet-that spent more than 50 years in a U.S. Post office in Springfield, Ill.-has been transformed into a one-of-a-kind platform for the most modern of flat screen TVs. As well, an otherwise common steel dresser taken from a motel on Chicago's South Side has been carefully stripped of 60-year-old paint, revealing a very contemporary steel grey finish. Items from the Museum's vast collection will also make an appearance in home, including photography from Margaret Burke-White and artifacts like a gramophone, circa 1900, and a "Brownie" camera, circa 1920.

The interior aesthetic of the Smart Home, which does focus on items from the past, will be uniquely complemented by home technologies that are very definitely from the future. This year's Smart Home will feature an amazing home automation that can play your custom playlist when you walk in the door, lower the shades when it gets too hot, and more. In a special display in the upstairs hallway office, artifacts from the MSI collection will be contrasted with the latest-cutting edge technologies of today, courtesy of 2011 technology partner Gizmodo. In the master bath, a preproduction model of the Cybertecture Mirror can show you the weather, the latest headlines for the day and is programmable with multiple applications-it can even help you monitor your weight. A solar toothbrush uses electrons that react with acid in your saliva to clean your teeth, without toothpaste! And at the bedside, the Ping Lamp, which divides in half, lets the couple that's apart send an "I'm thinking of you" message, simply by turning on the light.

"From new ways to play, to the tools that will soon work their way into our daily routines, the products Gizmodo selected for the Smart Home are a glimpse into the near future," said Joe Brown, features editor with Gizmodo. "We're beyond excited to be partnering with the Museum of Science and Industry to show these cutting-edge technologies to the public."

"Scout and Gizmodo bring a fascinating new energy to Smart Home: Green + Wired 2011," said Anne Rashford, director of temporary exhibits at MSI. "These partners offer the home a unique blend of the vintage objects and groundbreaking technologies that can help our guests live a smarter life."

The Smart Park landscape surrounding the home, again created and maintained with the help of the University of Illinois Extension, will feature native plantings, container gardening, a vertical garden, and "mound planting" of potatoes, which allows you to garden just about anywhere by mounding soil. A special feature this year will be a "pizza garden": A circular area of the landscape will be divided into "slices" in which popular pizza ingredients are planted: tomatoes, onions, peppers, basil and more. The beehives will be back in the Smart Park this year, producing delicious honey and promoting pollination in the garden. The home's wind turbine, located in the surrounding landscape, will also help create power for the home.

About the Smart Home
The fully-functioning modular Smart Home-conceived by the Museum of Science and Industry, designed by architect Michelle Kaufmann Designs™ and built by All American Homes® of Decatur, Ind.-was opened to the public in May 2008 and due to its popularity was redesigned for 2009, 2010 and 2011. It was given the designation "Chicago's Greenest Home" after a comprehensive review of the home's plans, materials and design by the City of Chicago's Chicago Green Homes Program. Since its opening, the Museum has welcomed more than 250,000 guests on 20-minute guided tours that showcase the ways, big and small, that people can make eco-friendly living a part of their lives. Some of the green features that remain year to year include include rooftop solar film, a wind turbine, and an interior that has been designed to maximize light and space.

Smart Home: Green + Wired is a must-see exhibit for anyone who wants their home, and life, to be smarter, more efficient and more in tune with the environment than it is today. This exhibit is not included in general admission and requires an additional timed-entry ticket. Tour times vary and are subject to change. The tickets, which include general Museum admission, are $25 for adults, $24 for seniors and $15 for children 3-11. City of Chicago residents receive a discount. Please visit for more information on schedules and to purchase tickets in advance.
Smart Home: Green + Wired is proudly sponsored by ComEd.

To attend the Smart Home media preview on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 please contact Marilyn Stein at (773) 947-3133 or

About the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
The Museum of Science and Industry's mission is to inspire the inventive genius in everyone by presenting captivating and compelling experiences that are real and educational. Located at 57 th Street and Lake Shore Drive, the Museum is open every day of the year except December 25. Regular Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day. Extended hours for spring break and summer, until 5:30 p.m. each day, will be offered from March 19 – April 24, as well as May 27 to Sept. 5, 2011. The Museum offers indoor parking and is accessible by CTA and Metra. The Museum is supported in part through the generosity of the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, visit the Museum's Web site at or call (773) 684-1414 or (800) GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.

About Scout
From their opening almost seven years ago, Scout has been setting trends in bringing yesterday's furniture and accessories into today's home. Re-use is the foundation of everything Scout shows in their intimate shop on Clark Street in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood. Whether it is sturdy steel office desks that are hand-stripped to reveal the original burnished silver finish, or a stately oak schoolhouse table that is lovingly refinished to bring out the original golden grain, the look always feels fresh and appropriate for the discriminating home. Known for their clean, unfussy lines and unexpected materials, Scout has become the standard in vintage furnishings. Scout. Welcome Home.

About Gizmodo is the authority on the technologies that change the way we live, work, love, play, think and feel. From the humble tools in a mechanic's belt, to the cellphones that we check Facebook on, to the space shuttles and submarines we use to explore the unknown, Gizmodo's core belief is that the mastery of technology is at the core of the humankind's evolution-for better or worse. Since its launch in 2002 the site has amassed over 6 million readers through its combination of reporting, opinion and explanations of how tech changes everything around us.