RISE ICT stories: Mindblowing experiences through interactivity and creativity

For 80 years, The National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm has been the go to place for kids, youths and adults with interest for innovation, technology, electronics and machinery. When the largest exhibition in the museums history, MegaMind, was inaugurated in 2016, Interactive Institute were proud be a part of three, out of 40, of the installations in place. The installations were chosen in tough competition from several international competitors. Mindball an innovation created several years ago got room together with to completely new ones. The installations are an important showroom that are shown to approximately 500 000 visitors per year.

Dancing with synapses, one of the two new installations from Interactive Institute, is the first thing that meets the visitors when they enter MegaMind. By stepping into a room, covered with screens, visualizations, light and sound the room embraces the visitor. Each person in the room will get a synapse attached to their feet that now follow its host around. When a person meets another host, the synapses will interact with each other with pulses of light and sound, creating new nerve threads.

Dancing with synapses is an eternity installation. It keeps generating new nerve threads when some have been connected, and also connects them by itself but at a much slower pace than if there is someone on the floor interacting with them.

Moving in further into MegaMind, the visitors will meet a large, convex wall, picking up a projection from the Idea Generator. The installation consists of a virtual field, covered with grass and flowers, a microphone and a screen giving the user a question. By writing the answer to the question, and then give a blow into the microphone, the visitor shares the idea. The goal is to inspire both children as well as adults to participate in ideation around the challenges of tomorrow. This goal was translated visually through the growing seeds of a dandelion, flying over the field. Eventually the seed lands and grows into a large flower showing the idea. A quote from Todd Henry, writer, influencer and speaker on creativity, summarizes this symbolic visualization in a concise manner:

“The seeds of tomorrow's brilliance are planted in the soil of today's activity. “

– The purpose is that the visitors should be inspired by the exhibition and get new, own ideas on how to solve problems. The proposals are displayed with a beautiful fantasy flower to other visitors, and also stored in a database for further research of people's creativity and interpretations, says Christina Öhman, project manager at Interactive Institute.

The Idea generator and Dancing with synapses have been designed and produced in cooperation with Visualiseringscenter C and The National Museum of Science and Technology. The installations are also on display at Visualiseringscenter C in Norrköping. The project has been funded by Wallenberg stiftelsen.

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