Good Luck Becky!

September 1, 2017

This week the wonderful Becky had her last day with KCA!

Becky was one of our graphic designers and has been with use since 2014. She’s worked on a range of projects during her time with KCA, including developing a new programme for Girlguiding, crafting a sensory toolkit for engaging families in Qatar and the graphics for an exhibition at Wakehurst.

She’s leaving us to go back to studying, and whilst she won’t be in the office as regularly- it’s definitely good luck and not goodbye!

 

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Visiting the Imperial War Museum: Part II

June 28, 2017

Here’s the second instalment of the KCA trip to the Imperial War Museum, read the first here.

The IWM’s current major exhibition is “People Power: Fighting for Peace”, exploring how peace movements have influenced perceptions of war and conflict from the First World War to today.

 

Starting with the  First World War, the exhibition looks at conscientious objectors and how they risked facing hostility and abuse through paintings, letters and artefacts. From here the exhibition moves into the Second World War. There were thousands more conscientious objectors during this conflict and the show tells this story, exploring the different struggles they endured for their anti-war cause and some of their non-combatant roles.

The Cold War and threat of nuclear weaponry makes up a substantial portion of the show, and it’s here we first encounter one of the most iconic images in the world: the CND sign. One of the cases tells the story of how Gerald Holtom created the sign, an early sketch revealing how it is based on the semaphore for “N” and “D”- standing for nuclear disarmament. The sign has grown from its original use and has become the international symbol for peace and featured prominently throughout the rest of the show- featuring in a wall of peace posters from the Sixties, placards against the Vietnam War and a section about the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.

From here the Fighting for Peace story is brought up to date with a room telling the story of recent conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. Highlights include powerful photography from “The Day The World Said No To War”- the day in 2003 when mass marches happened across the world protesting the planned US invasion of Iraq, objects from Brian Haw’s almost-10 year long peace camp in Parliament Square, and the famed photomontage of a grinning Tony Blair seemingly taking a selfie in front of a huge explosion in the desert.

We really loved the graphic imagery of the exhibition, from the protest banners, placards and posters to engagement points and our favourite- an enormous mesh wall with a graphic of the Labour Party’s 1935 “Stop War! Vote Labour” election poster of a baby wearing a gas mask  (see below).

“Stop War. Vote Labour” election poster graphic from 1935

The exhibition tells an inspiring story of people coming together from across the world but does also show how little has changed between conflicts. Perhaps the best summary can be found in the Telegraph’s review, “People often talk about the futility of war. Depressingly, the same could be said of the peace movement, too.”

The exhibition is open until August 28th.

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Visiting the Imperial War Museum: Part I

June 6, 2017

Last week the KCA team went on an outing across the road to the Imperial War Museum (IWM) to check out their current exhibitions, Syria: A Conflict Explored and People Power: Fighting for Peace.

This first instalment is about Syria: A Conflict Explored.

In Syria: A Conflict Explored, the IWM are hosting a season of exhibitions and events considering the origins, escalations and human impact of the ongoing Syria conflict. We began with Syria: Story of a Conflict, a short exhibition offering an introduction to the complex conflict in the country. Visitors are led past a collection of objects and personal stories to an installation film experience.

The conflict has already lasted longer than WWII and has many competing voices, making it difficult to piece together what is happening and decipher the accuracy of information. The film addresses the ‘war of narratives’ and provides a clear, balanced and objective explanation of the conflict, the events leading to it and the many sides involved.

From this we went on to see Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria, an exhibition of the award-winning Russian documentary photographer’s work. The first room provides a rare insight into ‘Assad’s Syria’, the Government controlled areas of Syria in 2013-2014. The beautifully composed colour photographs give a sense of the beauty of the country and the destruction that has occurred during the conflict. The first room shows Syrians going about their normal lives, drinking tea and baking bread whilst the war happens around them. The next room shows the visual signs of the conflict becoming more difficult to miss, children playing in rubble, soldiers, families fleeing, and explosions.

The final and smallest room of the exhibition looks at ‘The Exodus’, Syrians seeking asylum and a better life in Europe in 2015-2016. This digital projection captures the urgency, endurance and suffering of Syrians and provides a moving insight and reminder of their sacrifice and determination.

June 2014: Homeless children play in the ruins of Homs after opposition forces fled their district. Photograph: Sergey Ponomarev

In Damascus, Syria, Sunday June 15, 2014. (Photo Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times)

In Damascus, Saturday August 24, 2013. (Photo by Sergey Ponomarev)

An inflatable dinghy, crowded with refugees and migrants, is pulled ashore the Greek island of Lesbos after sailing five miles across the Aegean Sea from Turkey. July 27 2015

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Snap Happy

March 21, 2017

We’ve been busy taking new head shots for the KCA team recently- have a look at them on Our People page- and they’ve inspired us to take more photos of our lovely team:

Here are the KCA women who were in the office on International Women’s Day on March 8th.

Rupert, Ant, Leila, Cat and Emma and something on Leila’s laptop…

And finally, the ever lovely Emma!

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Mishkat Director joins NAMES Board

March 10, 2017

Mishkat’s Executive Director, Abdulaziz AlHegelan, is the newest Member of the NAMES Board of Directors.

Abdulaziz has worked for Mishkat four years and joined the team after completing his degree in Industrial Engineering. He was appointed Executive Director at the end of last year.

Mishkat is an active member of NAMES, the network for North African and Middle Eastern Science Museums and Centres. In October last year several Mishkat team members spoke at the biennial NAMES conference- read more about it here.

Congratulations on your appointment Abdulaziz, we look forward to seeing the continuing development of the relationship between the NAMES network, Mishkat and engaging science education in Saudi Arabia!

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Extended Opening for ‘How Do We Look?’

March 3, 2017

We worked with the Francis Crick Institute to design their first public exhibition, ‘How Do We Look?’. The exhibition explores the world of biomedical imaging and the Crick scientists behind the images.

The exhibition has been extended until Wednesday 29th March- so if you haven’t been to see how the Crick or our exhibition are looking, you’ve got an extra few weeks to head over to King’s Cross!

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Saving Joule

February 16, 2017

Back in April 2015 the Saving Joule film was launched at Mishkat, Riyadh’s interactive science centre. The film charts the adventure of Joule, a cheeky robot whose spaceship runs out of fuel and has to crash land on a distant planet. There Joule meets Etta, a friendly alien, who helps Joule find alternative sources of energy.

 

Almost two years later, Saving Joule has been transformed into a game available through a free app. The game encourages users to help Joule fly through space and save energy, finding alternative energy solutions on the way.

The app is available for free download on iOS and Android.

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See the Stars at Esplora

February 6, 2017

Esplora, Malta’s first science centre, opened in October last year. We’ve been involved in the project since 2013 and are always excited to hear about how the centre is developing.

Last week the centre’s Planetarium was inaugurated. Built into the Esplora’s walls, the 11m wide globe is visible from outside of the centre and gives it iconicity on the island.

The Planetarium is hosting a programme for visitors of all ages keen to learn about the earth, sun, moon and solar system. The programme initially features four shows about our universe and will expand to include live science shows as the centre matures.

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Environmental Art-ivism

January 26, 2017

This weekend London’s Somerset House is hosting ‘Space to Breathe’, a 2 days of installations, performances, talks and workshops highlighting London’s air pollution crisis. Space to Breathe aims to encourage us to think about what collective action we can take to make our cities less congested, cleaner and more energy efficient.

Just this week London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, issued a ‘very high’ air pollution alert for the first time. ‘Very high’ is the highest of 10 pollution bands, and the issuing of this alert is set to become more frequent with areas of Central London regularly breaching legally recognised health limits for air pollution.

Mary Poppins in air pollution mask flies over Westminster to highlight air pollution in the UK. The UK broke 2017’s annual air pollution limits only 5 days into the year (3 days earlier than last year).

‘Space to Breathe’ includes an installation by the sound artist Wesley Goatley inspired by data from the Environmental Research Group in London. The notes struck in the installation rise and fall in volume with the pollution levels recorded, providing a tangible way of expressing a large volume of data collected over the past 6 months.

Another event sees the artist Chih Chiu take groups of visitors wearing his artwork out onto some of the most polluted streets in London, challenging onlookers to think about the quality of the air they are breathing. Elsewhere, the King’s College Environmental Research Group will be running drop-in workshops, encouraging people to find out their lung capacity, how to avoid pollution as best as possible, learn about the research which is tackling London’s air pollution crisis, and crucially how they can get involved.

Voyage on the Planet, Chih Chiu

Other events include a Utopian VR experience, a pair of 3D printed lungs, Greenpeace’s suspended Mary Poppins and Solar Sound System- demonstrating the power of disco ( and featuring a free DJ set by Jarvis Cocker).

Find out more about the weekend via the Somerset House website, and read the Guardian’s article on the event.

Solar Sound System

 

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This week: A trip to the Science Museum

January 20, 2017

This week we’ve been thinking about show spaces and popped over to the Science Museum to look at theirs. Inside the new Wonderlab interactive gallery is a show space, the design of which is inspired by the Royal Institution’s renowned Faraday Theatre.

After we’d checked out the show space we carried on ‘working’, exploring the rest of the gallery and its exhibits, and seeing the wonderful Explainers in action.

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