Educational charity Techniquest is moving forward with its plans to radically transform its science discovery centre in Cardiff Bay with the appointment of a globally-recognised exhibit designer.
After securing £5.7m for its Science Capital project, which involves extending its Stuart Street site and repositioning itself in the marketplace, the 32-year-old charity has appointed Huttinger, following a competitive pitch.
The German company is a specialist in its field having designed and manufactured exhibits worldwide for science centres including The Scientific Centre in Kuwait, the Science Museum in London, Hong Kong Science Museum and NEMO science museum in Amsterdam.
Huttinger will work with Techniquest to design exhibits for its new exhibition, increasing the thematic range of scientific content it currently offers and ensuring that it is engaging for a wide range of ages and audiences.
Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest, said:
“We were blown away with the unique and inspiring concept design ideas presented by Huttinger. They have a wealth of experience in this field and they also demonstrated a key understanding of our new mission. Their design ideas integrated digital technology with traditional hands on exhibits that will enable us to stand out as a cutting edge science centre on a national level.
“The new exhibits will enable us to increase the age range and diversity of our audiences and, in turn help us to increase our visitor numbers. This will provide vital additional income to ensure Techniquest continues to provide a first class visitor experience for years to come.”
It is expected that around 60 new engaging interactive exhibits will form part of the new extension, covering themes such as space, environmental science, medical biology, chemistry, cutting edge technology and world issues.
James Summers, head of projects at Techniquest, said: “At the moment, our content focuses explicitly on phenomena based activities and we have identified gaps in the scientific topics our current exhibition offers.
“We are excited to be working with Huttinger to design a range of new exhibits around specific topics that are key to the everyday life of our audiences and the STEM agenda in Wales. By focussing on these topics we hope to work closely with companies linked to these topics that would like to showcase the work that they are doing and how Wales is playing a key part in future technologies.”
Joerg Huttinger, CEO at Huttinger, said: “Science Centres, like Techniquest, are in competition with conventional leisure attractions when it comes to attracting the public purse, so there is a fine line between entertainment and education. Our unique experience in designing both science centres and themed attractions enables us to plan and design exhibits that are attractive, interactive, educationally effective and operationally sound. Techniquest is a much loved institution in Wales and we’re delighted to be involved at this exciting time.”
The Science Capital project is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome Trust’s Inspiring Science Fund, the Moondance Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Welsh Government’s ‘Invest to Save’ fund, and Proton Partners International Ltd.