Mobile Museum on Climate Science
IMAGINARY is exploring a new format for science communication we call Mobile Museum: a self contained, free standing, portable, physical station that offers the experience of a science museum exhibition in less than one square meter and in a brief amount of time. It can use all the forms of communication of a traditional exhibition (text, image, video, sound, physical objects), and various forms of interaction and participation (interactive software and input hardware). The project started in 2020 and will be a two years project, it will be accompanied by an external evaluation study. The project is supported by the Klaus Tschira Foundation.
What are Mobile Museums?
Mobile Museums are a form of “pop up” intervention of public spaces (libraries, shopping centers, tourist sites) that attract and surprise people, rewarding them with an unexpected enriching experience during their daily activity. They entice through an attractive construction and playful forms of interaction for a short but meaningful experience which can act as a starting point for a longer engagement (inviting to a museum exhibition, providing a link to a book, podcast or mobile app, etc.).
Since the station is free standing it can offer access to content from all its sides, allowing for several people to directly interact with it at the same time. It’s experienced by walking around it, as opposed to the static experience of a traditional “kiosk”. The compact format with a variety of content forms and interaction possibilities dynamically arranged on its body invites exploration and discovery. It can combine traditional forms like text, images, sound and video and embedded display cases with touch screens, interactive lights, floor projection or peepholes to watch stereographic images. It can provide mechanisms for visitor participation from a simple mail slot (for written or drawn feedback) to sound or video recording and other richer interactions enabled by the visitor’s mobile phone.
Climate Science and the Climate Crisis (Mathematical Modeling)
Our first Mobile Museum will focus on the science of the climate crisis with a strong emphasis on mathematical modeling. We aim to explain what climate models are, how they are built and what they can tell us. We will also cover mathematical models that explain or predict the effects of climate change on plant and animal life and human activities. Finally we will present resources to dive deeper into the subject and ideas on how to take action from the political to the individual level.
It will be developed through a prototyping process that will involve its intended audience, scientific partners and NGOs. Once it’s completed it will tour several venues in Germany.
The Mobile Museum Construction Kit
IMAGINARY will share its experience with this new format through a free and open digital booklet that will explain it, give construction tips, guidelines and insights. A Mobile Museum can be built on a variety of materials: custom built wood casings, repurposed pieces of furniture or even cardboard boxes housing affordable electronics. We are excited by the potential of diverse groups (science communicators, NGOs, school classes, architects, designers and artists) creating their own Mobile Museums and sharing their results back with us.