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Last September 23, I was invited to give a talk / workshop at my favorite place in Manila The Mind Museum about my sensory projects. Like my other talks, this one had a sense kit, interactivity, etc. Unlike my other talks, I explained the science behind my work. After having to consciously remove the science from my explanations in art and design schools, it was quite refreshing to be required to explain the neuroscience and psychology behind my work. It felt like riding a bike after so long—thankfully, your mind still does remember what a synapse is! Whew.

Another big difference is that there were quite a number of kids in the audience. This was important (and also a big test for me), because I always felt that children were my primary audience. For me, if they didn’t “understand” the work, it meant that I wasn’t being clear enough and that there were still some things I could take away. And so it was gratifying to see kids eagerly raising their hands when I asked them questions. They were always responsive, most of the time even more so than the adults.

I’m also grateful to the museum staff because this is the first time I didn’t have to make the kits. A big thank you especially to my lovely assistant Steph as well as the museum’s science education officer, Marco, who took care of me the entire day.

Some photos, thanks to The Mind Museum:

Neurons! Drawn on Illustrator! Whee!

Hugging. The curator told me from the front row to hold my hair up. So I did.

Group hugs!

I really should just work for Pixar. Seriously.

The Cloud Walls!

Kids. Adults. Imagination.

Cloud walls, front and back

Cloud Walls

EatPoetry: cotton candy

One of the best things I learned since moving back to Manila is The Mind Museum.

The Mind Museum at Taguig. Image via The Mind Museum’s Facebook page

It was a great day to reconnect with the city, and it was an even better surprise when I discover that one of my former capoeira classmates now works there as an exhibit manager.

The building itself is a gorgeous piece of architecture led by Ed Calma (featured in the December 2011 / January 2012 issue of Fast Company). It is a significant addition to the commercial, artistic, and residential landscape of Fort Bonifacio.

There are five galleries in two floors spread over 5,000 square-meters:

  1. The Story of the Universe: Its Beginning and Majesty
  2. The Story of the Earth: Its Story Across the Breadth of Time
  3. The Story of Life: The Exuberant Varieties of Life
  4. The Story of the Atom: The Strange World of the Very Small
  5. The Story of Technology: The Showcase of Human Ingenuity
It’s such a great example of interactivity in a science museum. The major theme is nature in scale. Visitors can go through a human brain, see a skeleton of a T-rex up close, and come across scientific concepts by experiencing them. It has been open since March, but already has gained visits from locals and tourists alike.
Maribel Garcia, curator, emphasized the importance of scientific correctness and emotionally grabbing the viewers—an opinion that   I share, and one that triggered this “science meets art” trajectory in my life.
Visit The Mind Museum site.