Having already worked with the former National Media Museum in Bradford, when it recently went through it’s revamp, becoming the Science & Media Museum (North), we were flattered to be asked back to appraise the latest installation, Wonderlab. The museum has worked tirelessly over the past few years to become more autism friendly and this has included the development of an Autism Welcome package for groups and individuals. Our Bradford based Wednesday workshop, Skills for Life, approached the exhibition with relish, having thoroughly enjoyed previous exhibitions, especially the one on facial recognition.
Wonderlab is a fun, interactive environment (it’s in the space that used to house the history of television). Be aware that there are a lot of sensory experiences, featuring light and sound, but there are breakout spaces (the quieter Pinhole Camera exhibition would be ideal) should you become overwhelmed by the various displays. The main noise came from the group of school children who arrived shortly after us, but as a couple of our members said, “we were like that once, too”.
That aside, the popular displays for our members were the Hall of Mirrors, the sound\movement composition piece and the hearing through your teeth. These might sound bizarre, and some are, you also have the opportunity to capture your reflection in a falling drop of water, thanks to a high speed camera, but there is a wide variety of activities and our group were pretty sure that one should take you fancy.
It was the thumbs up from us, although we do have some recommendations, like a suggested path through the exhibitions and possibly a late opening for adults, to avoid noisy school groups. It’s great that a local resource such as this is making such a positive effort. More please.