Title: Dutch Inventors Who Improved the World!
Client: Made By Holland BV
Location: Paleis Soestdijk, NL
Size: 800 m2
Subject: Temporary exhibition on innovation in the Netherlands, Paleis Soestdijk basement floor
‘Dutch Inventors Who Improved the World!’ is a family exhibition where you can discover the ways in which our small country is great. Four rooms highlight current inventions from the Netherlands in a surprising way. These rooms in the palace basement (cellars), closed to the public until now, have been opened especially for this exhibition. This exhibition was created in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision.
The idea behind the exhibition is to use the original function of the rooms in which it takes place. Inventing and innovating is a process with many ingredients, so this is explained in the old palace kitchen. After that, visitors to the cellars discover what was being made in the kitchen: important inventions from the Netherlands. Materials for the exhibition were chosen to contrast with the cellars and to create a recognizable visual language. Visitors immediately see what is part of the exhibition.
After a tour through the main rooms of the palace, visitors enter the kitchen. Here they get an introduction to the old palace kitchen. Plans are shown on a large model. Bubbling pans on the fire contain screens which activate when the lids are lifted. Three films introduce visitors to the exhibition’s ambassadors, with an introduction to the subject of innovation. From there, they go to the cellars.
The history of iconic Dutch inventions is printed on plates along long tables set for dinner. What gets made in the kitchen is served in here! In addition, four basement rooms are furnished with Dutch solutions to global problems. These are introduced in the corridor with unique visual material from the Sound and Image archive. Four themes are central: Water Management, Energy & Sustainability, Agriculture & Food, and Health & Life Sciences. Leading innovators through the years, such as Boyan Slat (Ocean Clean-up), Henk Ovink (water representative) and Wubbo Ockels (scientist and astronaut) gets you to experience what makes an innovation more than just a good idea. Each room is designed to be a physical experience. Visitors are always surprised whenever they enter a different room. This keeps them curious.
At the end of the exhibition, you can become an inventor yourself. In the old service and cutlery room, visitors can start inventing for themselves. The best ideas are chosen to be developed, under the guidance of the Dutch Order of Inventors!,
Besides the exhibition, the cellars are of course an exciting place. We wanted to exploit this with a quest through the rooms not used for the exhibition. Inside these dark rooms, visitors can play detective and find the names of Dutch inventors in glowing paint. When these names are put together, they lead to the correct conclusion of the quest.
Made By Holland BV is part of the Meyer-Bergman Real Estate Group. In 2017, they won the pitch for the development of the new Soestdijk Palace and its surrounding grounds. The aim is for the Palace to become a hub in the field of innovation in the Netherlands. They want to support start-ups, link companies to each other, and communicate the importance of innovation to the public.