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Australia’s newest, boldest museum has no collections, just knowledge

Arts

The University of South Australia is set to open Australia’s newest and most ambitious museum in the heart of Adelaide.

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Called MOD. , the museum has been designed to challenge the standard museum experience, with spaces built for interactivity and immersion.

Opening on May 11, the future-focused museum does not have a traditional, tangible ‘collection’, rather it collects intangible knowledge and ideas and operates at the intersection of art and science, challenging typical ideas of museums.

University of South Australia Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd said the museum was designed to challenge worldviews and explore the interplay between science and art.

“We want to spark creative, unconventional thinking,” said Prof Lloyd.

“Some of our exhibitions will make people really stop, pause and experience ‘the discomfort of thinking’ as JFK called it.

“But it is when you are really stretched to question what you know, that creativity grows.”

Located inside the university’s newly built Cancer Research Institute, the participatory museum aims to engage adults and teens in science, engineering and technology through dynamic exhibitions, with a focus on South Australian and global research.

MOD. Director and futurist Kristin Alford said the museum brought together researchers, industry, students and the public to inspire young people to challenge and discuss how to navigate an uncertain future.

“We’re especially keen to bring young adults to MOD. because the more they are able to engage with ideas, think deeply about life’s potential and navigate our complex and uncertain world, the better they will thrive.” said Alford.

The museum will have seven purpose-built gallery spaces, a lecture theatre and studio spaces for workshops across two levels.

MOD. will also host ‘”Science on a Sphere”, a two-metre wide sphere developed by the American National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency. The data-visualisation tool will project images and datasets about global trade and migration patterns, natural phenomena, space, and technology.

The museum will host two themed exhibition programs a year, as well as a shorter studio program and will be open Friday evenings for after-work drinks and on weekends.

The opening exhibition, ‘MOD.IFY’, will take visitors on an immersive journey to explore artificial worlds and augmented realities, making them consider what makes us human versus animal or machine.

“MOD. will become a real magnet for young people interested in challenging the way we look at the world and the interplay between science and art.,” said Prof Lloyd.

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