The open city lab is a fully equipped laboratory that is accessible for all. Here you can get up close and personal with scientists at work. Have a chat, marvel at the beauty of the human brain, or just lounge and watch them at work. By bringing actual science into the center, visitors partake in it rather than learn about it. This connection with real science is an essential part of the experience. Anyone can be a scientist.
We The Curious, Bristol (UK)
Project What If at We The Curious in Bristol truly places people at the heart of science. It is the first science center based on the curiosity of an entire city. Why do rainbows make me happy? Can we make time go slower? These are examples of the 10,000 questions that were collected to inspire Project What If. Explore the secrets of color, broadcast a message into space, and be fooled by the tricks of light. A series of connected constellation islands take you on a thought-provoking journey.
‘We needed to value people’s questions as much as our own expertise.’
Former Director – We The Curious
The heart of the exhibition is the Theatre of Curiosity. There is always a workshop or presentation going. Here visitors, scientists, and anyone interested can gather to discuss the latest research or experiment. All science starts with curiosity, so it is only right that Project What If is centered around it.
We have connected 68 exhibits and 25 art pieces in constellations around different themes of the Universe, Rainbows, Sand, Time, Invisibility, Illness, and the Soul. The questions by the citizens of Bristol inspire these exhibits and are displayed above the constellations. You’ll notice that their questions immediately spark several of your own. You can experience and experiment with these questions by yourself using all your senses.
‘This is an invitation to wonder with the scientists about the biggest of questions.’
Michel de Vaan
Designer – KDJ
The spatial design is theatrical yet modest, putting the content first. All used materials are reusable or recycled. Because of this, the footprint of the exhibition is limited, so sustainability is part of the story too. We have used waxed steel for our frames, recycled tires for flooring, multi-carbonate sheets, and eco-labeled HDF panels.
SBID International Design Awards 2020