I had mostly heard of the Exploratorium as pioneers in interactive science centres, so in my mind I was picturing just a grander version of QM’s type of science centre. To my surprise it was much more richer in themes and had a great integration of art and science that was also unexpected/ unknown to me.
There are 6 main galleries –
- Human Phenomena (thoughts, feelings, and social behaviour)
- Seeing and Listening (light and vision, colour, sound and hearing, and motion and spatial perception)
- Living Systems
- Landscape Observation (explore the local environment)
- Outdoor Gallery
I really liked Living Systems personally but the “seeing and listening” area seemed the busiest. It was huge – almost overwhelmingly so! Right from the entrance, there is so much going on in every surface (walls, floors, windows, ceilings) I actually hardly knew what to look at and didn’t feel like I could take it all in.
Fave museum ideas to steal:
- Their ability to bring back-of-house to front-of-house was amazing. It is so different to the building configuration of QM, and an exhibition construction workshop in the middle was great and mind-blowing to me. Mirco labs and some research offices were glass and facing visitor areas too
- “Notes from Bio Lab” was a quick handwritten ways curators could change and update the info. More bringing BOH to FOH, and giving personality to people behind the scenes
- Outdoor Gallery and Observatory – commenting and reflecting on local place and acknowledging its environment was great, and sent a real message of “everyday science” and it being closely all around us.
- Outdoor playground – the use of outdoor space for play, seating, displays and exhibits
- Artist in Residency. There was many works from various years of the long-running program. The weaving of art + science was really well done.
- I stumbled upon Fire Services Week, and it was great to see special programming and community collaborations and engaging with wider things going on in the city/community.