Attractions industry news

02 Nov 2021

Belfast's W5 Science Centre re-opens following £4.5m redevelopment

W5 Science Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has re-opened to the public following a £4.5m redevelopment project which has added a number of new exhibits and galleries.

The redevelopment works – designed by experience designers, Mather & Co, and interactive design specialists, Aivaf – included two new gallery floors of exhibits, interactives, and AV installations to stimulate science learning.

The reimaged W5 Science Centre now offers learning by using real tasks and scenarios, allowing visitors to discover the problem, design, and experiment how to overcome it and develop a solution and understand why.

The new additions link to Belfast, so that visitors are working with real-life tasks that are relevant to their lives – rather than abstract concepts.

The interactives, designed by Aivaf, aim to include "open-ended interactivity", allowing visitors the freedom to design and be creative without restriction.

Mather & Co was commissioned specifically to bring theatrical theming and graphics alongside the physical interactivity and the latest audio-visual interactivity.

Individual exhibits include the 4m tall Marvellous Machine, which visitors can use to learn about ancient mechanics, such as Archimede’s screw, cogs, springs, and levers.

Elsewhere, the Move It exhibit will allow guests to build, test, and race their own car. Using experiments, visitors can learn about key physics theories such as drag, thrust, aerodynamics, speed, gears, materials and grip.

Alec Hawkins, graphic designer at Mather & Co, said: “It was really rewarding to design a whole experience where the focus was on facilitating young people's learning in a fun way.

"The design helped expand how engaging and varied this can be for the visitors.

"Designing for such a heavily interactive space was certainly a challenge but provided a really satisfying and strong outcome.”

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