Giant interactive audio-visual walls being pioneered Down Under could bring science to life at a proposed state-of-the-art attraction in Swansea.
Swansea Council, Swansea University and Trebor Developments, the company managing the regeneration of the city's Civic Centre site, are exploring an idea to replicate the success of ‘The Cube' – one of the world's largest digital labs and learning spaces, based in Queensland, Australia.
The innovative, touch-screen, cutting-edge technology could form part of the digital interpretation being proposed for the planned ‘hydro hub' at the site. This would also include a national public aquarium and a world class aquatic science research facility, as well as Oriel Science.
Oriel Science is now hosting its first pop-up exhibition, called ‘The Story of Time', on Princess Way in Swansea city centre. A Back to the Future-style DeLorean and a Dr Who-style Tardis form part of the exhibition, along with a mock-up of the CERN Large Hadron Collider and a dozen other exhibits. The exhibition is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.
Oriel Science features exhibitions that celebrate Swansea University's research and wider scientific themes by highlighting the relevance of scientific research to everyday life.
The Cube in Queensland features 48 multi-touch screens soaring across two storeys to make up over 190 square metres and 145 megapixels of display space.
Dinosaurs, physics and data relevant to the local area are among the subjects visitors can interactively explore there.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said:
“We've got world class scientists on our doorstep at Swansea University, so it makes sense to use their expertise in our work alongside Trebor Developments to deliver something special for the Civic Centre site.
“The Cube at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane has been phenomenally successful, bringing science to life by using 21st century, interactive, unlimited multi-touch technology for the benefit of local schools, communities and visitors. We're exploring the potential to introduce something similar on the seafront in Swansea to help people engage with Swansea University's research as part of Oriel Science in a fun, modern and educational way.
“As part of a hydro hub that could also include a public aquarium and an aquatic research centre, this proposal would attract many thousands of visitors, open up jobs, benefit Swansea residents of all ages, and help keep talented Swansea University graduates in Swansea.
“Our world class bay is deserving of a world class attraction of this calibre.”
Swansea University's Professor Chris Allton, Director of Oriel Science, said:
“Oriel Science's pop-up exhibition has proved hugely successful and, together with Swansea Council and Trebor Developments, we are keenly investigating possible permanent venues. We would love to build a space where people could learn about Swansea
“The University's fascinating research into marine life, climate change, computer technology and a host of other activities could be explored by using innovative, ground-breaking technology like that developed in The Cube. The opportunities are endless.”