A new permanent exhibition, 'Life in the Universe,' recently opened to the public at NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam. Archimedes Exhibitions designed and implemented the concept for the exhibition. The team around designer Janek Modzelewski worked closely with the museum and consistently played with opposites to create the spaces and exhibits. Iconographic antagonisms and contrasting light and dark elements visually set the exhibition apart from the other shows in the building and provide a setting for the visitors to delve straight into the topic and its scenography.
The user centred design aims at the visitors' multilevel perception while simultaneously integrating the architecture of the industrial style building. The designers created a stunning lighting concept by pulling lamps and light installations down from the high ceilings closer towards the actual exhibition. Individually lit spots within the space create an intimate and cosy situation - the central motif of the new design concept.
Not only does the design play with the alternation of light and darkness, it also works with colorful highlights in orange and black. These two colors implicitly underline the motto of the show: They evoke associations of science fiction and emphasise the futuristic theme of the exhibition. The leitmotif is once again contrast: The black building with its dark floors, walls, and ceilings is interspersed with orange elements reminiscent of sunlight.
The individual exhibits are built to look like 'black boxes' containing a discovery for the visitor on the inside. These boxes do not seem inaccessible though, on the contrary, the black rooms offer an interactive experience. There are no partition walls or other means dividing the space. The furniture becomes a functional part of the exhibition: The visitors sit on it and use it to listen. Due to their positioning on luminous bases, the exhibits seem to be floating in the air.
Photography: Michael Feser