Engaging all of Your Senses:
The Museum of Senses
I’ve recently warmed up to the practice of referring to cities in the language of their particular country. I find that it’s the least I can do to show a graceful reciprocity to the locals. Munich is now “München”. Warsaw is now “Warszawa”. And Prague is now “Praha”. The little things, ya know?
Upon arriving in Praha (Prague), I was absolutely dumbstruck by the elegance of this very old, very refined, Old World treasure. Taking into consideration the swath of damage that was done to major European cities during World War I and II, it was refreshing to find a legit, in-tact castle dating back to the 9th century.
Praha was absolutely stunning. The visual panoramas of the city were layered, colorful, and seemingly endless. Even the city’s stone buildings felt old to the touch. The distinct smell of deep-fried dough spirals (called Trdelnik) wafted through the air of Praha’s city center. As we sat down for a taste of local Czech fare (roasted duck, sauerkraut, and herbed potatoes), I was reminded of the heavy, hearty meals that I enjoyed as a child during Eastertime.
All in all, Prague is very much the total package. The city is a multi-sensory experience that everyone should partake in at least once in their lifetime. I had to stop myself from thinking that Prague was some sort of Harry Potter movie set. It was that magical.
👏Praha 👏 is 👏 stunning.
Speaking of multi-sensory experiences, the Czech capital is also home to a very cool museum concept. Introducing the Museum of Senses (MoS). I can safely say that the exhibits at MoS had me questioning everything about my perception of reality. The self-exploratory exhibit model is meant to challenge the trust that each visitor has in their own sensory biases. Whether it’s manipulating visual perspective, testing olfactory acuity, or measuring auditory range, the Museum of Senses has something for every human visitor.
I sat down with Jana Troitskaia, marketing manager for MoS, in order to see what makes this interactive space so uniquely interesting:
1) Our mission at The Hopper is to make science discovery a part of everyday life. How does Museum of Senses implement this philosophy?
Museum of Senses (MoS) is a unique concept that shifts entertainment to the next level. The museum aims to present human senses in a fun and educational manner. Visitors are invited to explore the space to find out how our senses function. The exhibit makes you re-evaluate how important our senses are and how we might take them for granted. At the MoS, visitors are immersed in an atmosphere, where-in they are required to give more attention to a variety of unique sensory inputs. Within the next few months, MoS Prague will have five parts, with each part focusing on one of the five human senses!
2) Could you please describe the type of guests that visit Museum of Senses (mostly students? families? teens? tourists?) Which group appears to have the most fun?
With 100% assurance, I can say that our target group is from ages 0 to 99 . Our museum is enjoyed by both children and adults alike*. Anyone who loves unusual museum experiences will find something new here. Teens can take a cool photo for Instagram and parents will have a great time exploring the space with kids.
*A business philosophy that is aligned with The Hopper’s mission to include families of all ages and abilities in The Hopper experience.
3) Who develops and constructs the interactive exhibits at Museum of Senses?
First and foremost, we [MoS staff] develop the sensory ideas and concepts. We believe that the most important thing is to have some cohesive vision that is new, interesting, and catchy. After that, we search for creative help/suppliers that can help us realize each interactive sensory concept.
4) You mentioned that Museum of Senses has different locations in Romania and Spain. Do your museums have identical exhibits or is each location unique?
Yes, we currently have four museums – Prague (Czech Republic), Bucharest (Romania), Constanta (Romania), and Split (Croatia). A fifth MoS location will open in Spain soon! On the one hand, the concept of all MoS museums are quite similar. For example, you can find the very popular Ames Room, Bed of Nails, and Head on the Plate exhibits in all MoS museum locations. On the other hand, we are trying to bring uniqueness to each MoS location. In Prague, we have smell boxes that are connected with info about Czech history and culture. In Bucharest, there is an inverted room which is thematically connected to Dracula’s castle.
5) Museum of Senses allows for independent exploration. How do you keep your exhibits easily accessible to everyone?
All the exhibits have descriptive text in a few different languages. We also have a great team of museum coordinators that helps our visitors to better understand some of the more complex sensory exhibits.
6) What Museum of Science exhibit is your personal favorite? What science concept does it profile?
My favorite exhibition is the Stable Room. It’s a room with painted 3D pictures of horses. We worked on this room for two months. The idea was realized by a famous Croatian painter named 3DFilip.
The Stable Room shows us how tricky human sight can be. Humans have binocular vision. That means that each eye creates slightly different pictures of the world. Our brain unites these two separate pictures in order for us to see volumetric things. Therefore, in order to deceive vision, we need to combine illusion and reality on the same plane. To do this, you need a camera lens or video camera. So when you are taking photos in the Stable Room, you can see a cool 3D effect.
To conclude with the wise words of famed German psychotherapist, Fritz Perls: “Lose your mind and come to your senses.” #MuseumofSenses