New Exhibition at The Crick

April 19, 2017

We spent last week installing the Francis Crick Institute’s new exhibition, Open for Discovery. The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow, but we couldn’t resist sharing some photos beforehand!

Open for Discovery invites visitors to step inside the scientific mind of the Crick, learn about who Francis Crick was and explore the Institute’s research interests.

The exhibition is split into six elements: Francis Crick, influenza, TB, DNA, cancer and growth factors. Scientists at the Crick’s founding sites played an important role in developing our understanding of each of these areas, and these strands of research remain central to the new Institute’s research programme with many of the scientists being world-leaders in their respective fields.

The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow, April  20th, and is open until 28th October 2017.

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Secret Structures at Wakehurst

April 12, 2017

We’ve recently been working with Wakehurst in West Sussex to design their new Secret Structures exhibition.

Wakehurst is home to a 16th-century mansion, set in 500 acres of garden which includes a botanic garden,  woodland, wetland conservation areas, Kew Garden’s Millennium Seed Bank- the world’s largest seed conservation project- and exhibition spaces.

Wakehurst’s new exhibition, Secret Structures, provides an opportunity to not only marvel at plants and fungi, but to learn from them and better understand our need to protect them.

Inside the exhibition an interactive table peels back the layers of scanned objects including a Brazil nut and an orchid to reveal their intricate innards, the complex and normally hidden root system of an excavated oak tree are revealed, and a light sculpture created by the exhibition’s Artist in Residence, Perdita Sinclair, is suspended from the ceiling.

We developed multimedia displays for the exhibition which explore the unusual, secret and curious sides of a number of specimens, including Brazil nuts, walnuts and orchids. The displays cover the incredible role oak trees play in supporting biodiversity in the UK, the complex process of propagating orchids and Kew Science’s expertise, and why you should think twice about falling asleep under a walnut tree (they cunningly secrete chemicals to poison nearby plants).

The exhibition has a star exhibit, with the excavated oak tree having been featured on the BBC4 programme Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor.

Secret Structures’ opening was covered on BBC South East.

It is open until March 2018, for more information see Wakehurst’s website.  

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KCA in China!

April 7, 2017

We’re delighted to announce that we’re working on a project for the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

Our work centres around the development of four themed programming spaces within the Museum. The Shanghai Museum was opened in 2001 and has gone on to become one of China’s most visited modern museums.

We started been working on the project in January and have been busy developing the themed programming spaces and 68 hours of activities for a range of different audience groups. The project is due for completion in May.

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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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A Visit to the Design Museum

February 28, 2017

The new Design Museum opened its doors at the end of last year at its new location in Kensington, at the site of the old Commonwealth Institute.

The Commonwealth Institute was built in 1962 and famed for its striking design. It closed in 2004 and after an £80 million redevelopment, the building is reopened and repurposed as the Design Museum- complete with the original parabolic roof.

KCA recently went on a trip to check out it out.

The Museum’s atrium is a light and welcoming space, contributed to by the informal seating area created on the wide stairs leading visitors up into the exhibition spaces. 

We checked out ‘Designer Maker User’, the Museum’s first ever permanent and free display. The gallery charts the interconnectedness of the three roles: designer, maker and user. Designer explores the ways in which designers’ thought processes inform projects, and includes a scale model of the new London underground train, British road signs and anglepoise lamps. Maker explores the evolution of manufacturing- from everyday objects, such as tennis balls, to novel and bespoke items, like the 2012 Olympic torch. In User the focus is placed on the interaction between people and brands that have come to define the modern world. This includes a display of Apple and Sony products- highlighting the relative obsolescence of the Walkman in 2017 and comparative gawkiness of early iPods.

The gallery also includes a collection of 200 objects suggested by people as their most important object from over 25 countries. The display is diverse and includes a IKEA blue bag, pair of jeans, £5 banknote and a plastic garden chair. The Museum describes it as a demonstration of the intimate relationships we have with everyday objects that shape our lives.

Towards the end of our visit Cat (who previously lived in Japan) became reacquainted with an old friend- Paro, a Japanese therapeutic robot baby seal. Designed by Takanori Dhibata to be very cute and have a calming effect, Paro responds to petting and used in hospitals and nursing homes to elicit an emotional response from patients and residents. Creating benefits similar to those seen with animals-assisted therapy. Paro was indeed very cute and responded to our petting, soon winning over the rest of the KCA team.

Visit the Design Museum’s website to find out more.

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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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