Dundee Science Centre: CONNECT – ‘We Are Exploring’ Exhibition




Experiential - Incorporating: audiovisual, graphic and object-based displays


Aim Design


Dundee Science Centre


DUNDEE SCIENCE CENTRE, CONNECT – We Are Exploring Exhibition

1.00 Introduction

The DSC CONNECT exhibition was developed in close partnership with the already well-established community outreach programme at DSC. Several community workshops were created to ‘Connect’ the early design and later detail of the exhibition with as many sectors of the local community as possible. Community ownership was key to the successful development and barrier free nature of the creative spaces. These workshops included Early Years, Primary School, Assisted Needs, Communities and Social Deprivation sectors and Breastfeeding groups, all of which contributed to the development of the design brief and the experience outcomes overall. Aim Design worked closely with University of St. Andrews' ABCLab to develop a quite space to work with early years groups. These workshops principally focused on science engagement, mental health & wellbeing, intimacy, sustainability and accessibility.


2.00 Experience Zones & Design Concept

The space consists of three contrasting experience zones.

WE ARE INVENTING – encourages engagement with recycling concepts and creating structures from every day materials

WE ARE DISCOVERING – encourages engagement with scientific concepts and geological forces inherent in the world around us

WE ARE EXPLORERS – encourages adventure and exploration for early years development and engagement. The Culture Lab and The Sensory Zone both provide a place of respite and reflection and have been designed specifically for accessibility for those who have differences in physical and cognitive abilities.

The images supplied are from the ‘We Are Explorers’ area.

Design concepts were developed closely alongside community engagement sessions. From feedback regarding the early years areas from local breastfeeding groups to the pairs matching game suggested in the Autism Scotland sessions. Graphical content for several exhibits was developed directly through public submissions. Recycled and every day materials were used including plywood and cross laminated timber, rubber tyre particles, whisky draff furniture and recycled plastic cluster seating.

A soft palette of birch ply, yellow, grey and charcoal runs throughout. Soft touch materials including felt wallpaper, hanging sponge noodles and chewy leaves add a high level of tactility and fun for visitor engagement. Atmospheric lighting is intentionally intimate and low intensity.

The space is a mix of exploration, fun, mystery and secrecy! Come and hide!

"Aim have gone above and beyond, architects and pro science communicators! We're lucky to have you"Rebecca Duncan (DSC - Project Leader)