Imagine being on a planet that is completely dark; a planet where the atmosphere filters out the visible spectrum of light. There is warmth, there is air, but there is no light.

Mission to Nocterra is one of the planned highlights of this year’s Maker Faire Denver, and it will give attendees the chance to experience a world of total darkness, as they attempt to find their way through the interactive installation, October 13 – 14 at the National Western Complex.


Created by Tact-Ed, (with the help of designers: Dan Griner, Jenny Filipetti, Alexi High, Mara Maxwell, Brice Sullivan and Bailey Van Etten) in partnership with the Colorado Center for the Blind, the attraction is sponsored with funds from Meow Wolf.  After its initial debut at Maker Faire DenverMission to Nocterra will tour the country.


“It’s a chance to explore your senses and use your cognitive skills to tap into an alien world,” explains Maker Faire Denver Director, Dan Griner. “Maker Faire Denver has the theme of Inclusion this year and while it should always be a consideration, we wanted to commission something special for many of the people in our community whose experience of the world around us is different and pull back the curtain on a part of their experience. ‘Mission to Nocterra’, besides being experiential, challenges you to solve clues and derive meaning through what our more dormant senses are telling you. 


Project lead Matt Gesualdi, owner of Tact-Ed, has been involved in research, development and design with the blind community of Denver and Colorado Springs for 20 years. He has an extensive background in Industrial Design and Model Making.  Currently, Gesualdi has two pieces exhibited at the Denver Art Museum to help people with visual impairments understand parts of the exhibits. He says, “My emphasis is always to help people understand the scale of objects, large or small, as compared to themselves.”


The original design for the escape room was small and simple, Gesualdi explains. “Expanding the idea and making it so everyone could enjoy it was a great design and engineering challenge. I love what we came up with so much more than the original idea.


Often called the Greatest Show (&Tell) on Earth, Maker Faires are showcases of invention, creativity and resourcefulness with sister celebrations around the world.  From Rome to NY innovators, craftspeople, scientists and kids are showing off their home-brewed creations from fire breathing robots to library maker spaces. Beyond hobbyists, Maker Faire Denver showcases companies from around Colorado who are developing the future today, utilizing cutting edge tools!



Mission to Nocterra is included with admission to this year’s Maker Faire Denver. Ticket prices range from $8 – $15 for a full day of interactive exhibits and demonstrations. Children under age 4 are admitted free and Family 4-packs and VIP tickets are also available. Maker Faire Denver is owned and operated by Making Progress Colorado, a registered non-profit organization. Information and tickets are available at–