Science and technology

Opening on 20 November, the Facing Disaster exhibition at Finnish Science Centre Heureka lets visitors practise their crisis tolerance – resilience – in gamified exhibits and experience the forces of nature as audiovisual art installations. The exhibition also features true stories that demonstrate the power of the elements.

We live in a world in turmoil. Every day there is a flood, storm, earthquake or wildfire. Climate change makes extreme weather worse and its threats less predictable. On the other hand, the damage caused by natural forces has been significantly mitigated by advances in monitoring, warning and evacuation systems.

When we face disaster, we can rely on information and preparations, as well as our special strengths: cooperation and trust. They help us build a shared crisis tolerance – resilience. True resilience is demonstrated when the impact of the elements is reduced, and a disaster is averted.

In the Facing Disaster exhibition, visitors will proceed through the different stages of a disaster. The first part is for learning about and practising shared resilience skills, after which visitors will experience the elements – floods, storms, wildfires and earthquakes – as audiovisual art installations. The effects of nature’s power are demonstrated with empowering true stories from around the world.

“The exhibition presents the forces of nature as immersive spatial art. Multisensory experience rooms feature video projection on three-dimensional surfaces combined with soundscapes that will fascinate children and adults alike. The video projections were designed by the Hungarian light and video mapping artist László Zsolt Bordos (Bordos.ArtWorks), whose works have been seen around the world, including the Lux Helsinki projection on the facade of the Helsinki Cathedral,” says the exhibition’s project manager Joonas Juutilainen.

Gamified exhibits are used to build a shared resilience for facing the forces of nature. They demonstrate methods for functional cooperation and building mutual trust. How can we deliver disaster relief? How do we rebuild a city with no common language?

“The exhibition is intended to stir up, empower and give hope to people. Although we live in a world with much upheaval, we have a common potential for strengthening our communities and building more sustainable societies. When we face disaster, cooperation and trust are at the heart of resilience. This was a challenging subject that we turned into an exhibition for the whole family. It gives hope and tools for discussing these topics with children as well,” says Mikko Myllykoski, CEO of Heureka.

The content of the exhibition was designed in cooperation with a comprehensive group of experts. The exhibition partners include the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK), the 72 Hours concept group, the Finnish Red Cross (SPR), the Hanken HUMLOG Institute, and Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki r.y. The exhibition has also received a grant from the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. The Facing Disaster exhibition is part of the annual programme of the Year of Research-Based Knowledge.

The exhibition has been produced by Heureka and it will be later exported by Heureka as an international export exhibition to other science and exhibition centres around the world. The exhibition will be open at Heureka for two years from Saturday, 20 November 2021 to September 2023.

In addition to the Facing Disaster exhibition, Heureka’s planetarium will feature a new film about the forces of nature, Dynamic Earth, opening on 21 December 2021. The award-winning planetarium film explores the engine of our planet: the climate. The film takes its audience into hurricanes, the ocean depths and volcanoes through visualisations based on satellite data and computer simulations.

Source: Finnish Science Centre Heureka