Lava Centre, Iceland

No major commentary here. This museum in Hvolsvollur, Iceland really looks cool! They appear to have done an amazing job of making this a very immersive experience with the moody atmosphere and really engaging their visitors. A very effective approach of blending tech exhibits, physical models, and environmental design.

Intro to Volcanology: In this room visitors can learn about all the different types of volcanoes and volcanic systems found in Iceland.

Site of Actual Volcanos: An immersive world showing the five different Volcanoes around Lava Centre.

The Fiery Heart of Iceland: An exhibit showing the size of the Mantle plume relative to Iceland. The reconstruction is in accordance with measurements done by scientists who measured the phenomena.

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Water Resistant Wood

Keep seeing references to new(ish) wood products that use natural wood and an alternative process to pressure treating and produce a better performing material. This may be an option for outdoor structures or a water table experience where we’d like to clad a stainless or concrete basin with a more natural material or perhaps even build a table out of wood (was that Steve Langsdorf I just heard groaning?).

If the specs are true, this material is substantially better than pressure treated. Here’s two products that are getting a lot of press the last few years:

Accoya

https://www.accoya.com/

  • Swelling and shrinkage reduced by 75% or more
  • Lasting 50 years above ground, 25 years in ground/freshwater Class 1 durability, surpassing even teak
  • Virtually rot proof
  • 70 year minimum service life stated by TRADA

 

Kebony

http://kebony.com/us/content/technology/

  • swelling and shrinkage reduced by 40-60%
  • outdoor life time warranty for 30¬†years
  • no additional treatment needed beyond normal cleaning
  • high resistance against fungi, rot and other wood destroying micro-organisms

 

– Sean

UCreate Digital Game Panel

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Came across this software “play panel” in Gressco’s literature. Looks like they are rebranding a NunoErin product (the folks who invented the “sparkle bench”).

The 4 games included are pretty good considering the price: $4300 from Gressco. Perfect for a low-cost add to a children’s area that can’t pay for custom software. Comes in wall or table mount form factor.

Here’s the Gressco page -watch the video to see the games in action.

https://gresscoltd.com/haba-grow-upp-mirror-large-124266.html

And the NunoErin link:

http://nunoerin.com/ucreate/

 

 

 

Iconic Visitor Created Paper Structures

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This company specializes in creating simple geometric forms that visitors can assemble and combine into large integrated structures. Could apply to Maker, Engineering, Art, Physics content, among others, as well as special themed events (i.e. a riff on Cardboard City). They don’t seem to be exploiting the decoration aspect of such structures, which could add richness, originality and personalization to the work. They also produce a variety of small Maker style projects i.e. individual stools or lamps, that would seem to be nearly fool proof yet satisfying activities. Hat tip to Joseph for this one.

Here’s the company:

http://www.collectivepaperaesthetics.com/

And a post on a recent installation:

http://retaildesignblog.net/2015/06/13/paper-installation-by-collective-paper-aesthetics-at-polytech-festival-2015-moscow-russia/

A few pics from various projects below:

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A Pointless Play Structure

FiveFields8

http://www.matterdesignstudio.com/#/five-fields-play-structure/

I happened upon this play structure via the article below:

http://design-milk.com/five-fields-play-structure-designed-no-purpose/

It’s a cool concept allowing open play without offering any real instruction or purpose, leaving kids to use their imaginations. There are no tasks to complete or content to absorb. Something like this could be a neat idea for a more art or object-focused museum as a kind of installation piece. The simple graphic patterns and wood construction add to the structure’s ambiguity, allowing it to be whatever the children playing on it want it to be.