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Interactive display
Visitors can take the controls in the interactive Briefing Room at the Airbus Experience Center in Washington, D.C., which was designed by a Seattle-based firm. (Credit: Hornall Anderson)

Captain Kirk from the original “Star Trek” is celebrating Star Wars Day today, so maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising that a Seattle-based branding and design firm helped create the Airbus Group’s state-of-the-art Experience Center in the nation’s capital.

Hornall Anderson is behind the look of the exhibit space, which takes up about half of the 20,000-square-foot Airbus office space that opened last month on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Experience Center’s videos and interactive displays highlight facets of the Europe-based consortium’s operations in the United States and worldwide.

“You’ll see our Rosetta spacecraft that landed on a comet,” Airbus Group Chairman and CEO Allan McArtor said in a news release. “You’ll see the Perlan II glider that is going to ride wind currents into the stratosphere. You’ll see U.S. Army helicopters that are built in Mississippi, and A320 single-aisle aircraft being built in Alabama.”

A design company based in Seattle may seem an unusual choice for Airbus, considering that the Boeing Co. is building rival 737 jets down the road in Renton. There are Boeing-centric “experience centers” in Renton and other locales. But Airbus decided that Hornall Anderson, which recently did the rebranding for Seattle-based, all-Boeing Alaska Airlines, was the right firm for the job.

“Hornall Anderson created a dynamic experience and storytelling space that enables us to personalize the journey based on who is visiting,” said the Airbus Group’s Rick McGivern. A couple of other Seattle firms contributed to the center’s futuristic look: Avidex Industries and Schema Design.

Here’s a gallery from the Airbus Experience Center:

Experience Center entryway
A display in the ceiling includes the inscription “The Sky Connects Us All.” (Credit: Hornall Anderson)
Experience Center exhibits
The Airbus Experience Center includes an exhibit about the Orion Service Module, which is being built by Airbus Defense and Space for NASA. (Credit: Hornall Anderson)
Fleet Wall
The 40-foot Fleet Wall showcases Airbus’ aircraft and spacecraft. (Credit: Hornall Anderson)
Fleet Wall
Visitors pull up a virtual view of Airbus’ A350-900 on the Fleet Wall. (Credit: James Darcy / Airbus Group)
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