An interactive exhibition made with HI-MACS

News /
22 November 2013
An interactive exhibition made with HI-MACS
Glasgow Science Centre "BodyWorks": An interactive exhibition made with HI-MACS.

Developed with ARKA Design Studio for the top floor of the Science Centre, the Glasgow Science Centre is an interactive and experimental exhibition concept intended to inspire wonder and encourage research in a playful approach to conveying knowledge to old and young alike. The material they chose for the whole exhibition was HI-MACS.

The aim of the exhibition is to encourage the discovery and understanding of science and technology with a thought-provoking, amusing and exciting experience, to create awareness in the people of Scotland. The permanent "BodyWorks" exhibition opened at the end of March 2013 on the third floor of the Science Centre and is dedicated to the discovery of the human body. A hardwearing material was needed to allow interaction with the exhibits making HI-MACS® the natural choice. Its surface is free of pores, which renders it dirt-resistant and extremely easy to look after.

The designers developed more than 100 interactive elements under three main headings: "About you" zones, interactive zones and "Research" capsules. In a "Live Lab" made completely from HI-MACS®, laboratory assistants demonstrate experiments to the amazement of their audience. The surface of the acrylic stone is extremely homogeneous, so that no fluids or chemicals can penetrate the furniture and it retains its attractive appearance.

Design Director Karen Hamilton and her team used repeating exhibition elements which lend an interior design edge to the subject matter. For example, "Interactive Tables" are distributed throughout the exhibition area. Organically shaped and consisting of three HI-MACS slabs arranged at a 120° angle to each other, they can be used as computer workstations, for experiments or for research.

The playful approach of the exhibition attracts many children, another reason why HI-MACS® was chosen for hygienic reasons. In the "About You" section, the visitors figure in their own experiment as they compare their own physical and psychological abilities with those of other visitors and of sporting personalities. Acrylic stone is almost as robust as natural stone, but can be worked and processed in the same way as wood, and is also resistant to bacteria and viruses.

The uses of the material are practically unlimited, which is also demonstrated by the five Research Capsules which are distributed throughout the exhibition and address in scientific terms questions such as "How to mend a broken heart" and "How your body fights back"; they form one of the main attractions of the exhibition. These organically shaped structures form an enclosed space clad with CNC-milled HI-MACS panels displaying organic elements or inlaid designs to stimulate interest in the cube's subject.

Even if it is never possible to satisfy completely the desire for knowledge, the mission of this exhibition to enlighten remains a future-oriented proposition. That is why the choice of material has been such a good one, because HI-MACS is a new generation material; its intelligent composition of natural minerals and pigments allows it to meet the highest standards of aesthetics, functionality and hygiene.

Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Design: ARKA Design Studio
Manufacture: Elmwoods
Text: pro publica, Daniela von Thunen
Material: HI-MACS Arctic White (S06) and Grey (S05)


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