The Danish Electricity Museum is a science and cultural heritage museum. The museum comprises a number of permanent exhibits, supplemented by special exhibitions. The exhibits are distributed throughout the museum’s buildings. Our work with the museum has consisted of enhancing current exhibits, and developing new installations that explore energy production and consumption.
Museum visitors include school groups (1/3 of the visitors) and private visitors who attend lectures, follow guided tours, and explore the museum’s exhibits on their own. The exhibits are diverse, and vary from a fully functional hydropower water plant to large Tesla coils, small experimental setups, electrical equipment, and so on. CAVI has collaborated with the museum to create innovative, interactive exhibits, resulting in an inspiration catalogue of 10 well-developed concepts. Two of these concepts are The Energy Table and The Energy Floor.
The Energy Table
The Energy Table was a full-room installation. At the centre there was a table with a camera and a projector mounted above it. On the table were six miniatures of power generators, for example, a windmill and a hydropower water plant. Additionally, there were five to ten miniatures of devices that corresponded to full-scale devices situated around the table. When visitors stood near a miniature power generator, they activated it, which was indicated by a glow projected from above. Then, they could use physical icons, “Electricons”, to create energy flows on the table, by physically placing and moving the Electricons on the table. They could move energy to the miniature devices on the table, thus activating the full-scale devices in the room. The devices required different amounts of energy, and visitors could collaborate by combining energy flows. The various Electricons functioned as switches, resistors, batteries, and so on, facilitating the execution of a wide variety of scenarios. The table could also be set up for the visitors to meet certain objectives, thus acting as a board for playing games including electricity and power as game elements.
The Energy Floor
The Energy Floor was an immersive exhibit environment consisting of a number of physical devices that consume energy (e.g. a television set, a radio), devices that produced energy (e.g. an exercise bike, a water turbine), and a camera and a projector mounted on the ceiling for tracking visitors and projecting visual elements on the floor. When visitors entered the exhibit space, a small “halo of energy” was projected around them, and followed them as they moved. They increased their energy levels – indicated by a flow of energy from the device to the visitor’s growing halo – by using the devices that produced energy. They could then use their energy to activate devices that consumed energy, resulting in a shrinking halo, as energy flowed from the visitor to the device. Visitors could combine energy to activate devices that consumed much energy, or to make smaller devices operate more intensely.