High Tech Romans

Part of NorthernLight design team (www.northernlight.nl)

Title: High Tech Romans
Client: Landesmuseum Bonn, Technopolis, Museon & Museum het Valkhof
Location: Travelling exhibition
Year: 2011
Size: 750 m2
Subject: Learn about Roman technology

The travelling exhibition ‘High Tech Romans’ shows pioneering inventions of the Romans in different fields. It’s still incredible to think that they already had not only central heating, but also snack bars, sewers and concrete.

The exhibition concept is based on inspiration and association, but also intellectual property. Who was responsible for certain inventions? This is a hot topic these days, with patents on seeds and medicines, as well as copyrights on things like music samples. But the Romans were not so concerned with this. They did not invent everything themselves, but took ideas from Etruscans, Greeks and Egyptians. They took their ideas and further developed and improved them.

On large themed panels, Roman inventions of the time are linked to contemporary equivalents, such as an iPad with a tile tablet. Through nine subjects, we show a wealth of technology, using collection objects combined with interactive exhibits. Combining collection and exhibits was an important part of the exhibition concept: they reinforce each other. The collection becomes more accessible and the interactions offer layers of content. We also aimed at creating a mix of different types of interaction – an aim we achieved. The result is a hugely successful exhibition.