Micropia is world’s first museum of microbes, located at Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam. Micropia aims to show the (to the naked eye) invisible world of microorganisms and to encourage a wide public to discover microbiology.
Microbes themselves are given centre stage of the 850 m2 exhibition. Entering Micropia, visitors encounter a whole new world. The bright ground floor of the historical building is complemented with a darkened black box on top, as a kind of ‘inverted laboratory’: dark and mysterious rather than white and sterile. The invisible life is made visible via specially developed 3D microscopes, interactive media installations and also a real laboratory is integrated to grow all the living microbes presented. An abstract soundscape further immerses visitors in the overall experience.
To reveal the micro-world, a mix of media tools are applied, like playful animations, photos made by a special microbe photographer, detailed videos and pieces of art. Interactive exhibits, designed together with ART+COM Studios, are used to enhance the visitors’ experience. A successful example is the ‘body scan’: through Kinnect technology the visitor navigates through his body by moving the hands and in that way gets to know his own microbes. Visitors are not only spectators, but they themselves become part of the exhibition. Also special 3D microscopes, with joysticks attached, are developed to enable visitors to see microbes eating, moving and reproducing.
Micropia is high-tech, but visitor-friendly at the same time. The result: after visiting Micropia, you will never see yourself in the same way again.