agency ART + COM, the Kossmann.dejong team created a series of media
installations that “sought a balance between experience and knowledge.” As
visitors work their way up from a bright ground floor, they enter a realm the
design team calls a “reverse laboratory, not white and sterile but dark and
Bright lights in saturated colors pop against a moody backdrop of
black—many of them moving image displays designed by film and animation
crews B Bind and Strong, Holland Central, PlusOne, Temponaut, and Wim
van Egmond. Together they form a landscape like the set of a 1970s space
drama, but the technology is real, and the displays scientifically accurate.
“The microbes are literally in the spotlight because the only light in the
space comes from the exhibits themselves,” explains Michèl de Vaan, a spatial
designer with Kossmann.dejong.
Interactive body scanners allow visitors to become both the interface
and the subject of the experience as they watch their own body’s microbial
composition revealed onscreen. In another particularly immersive display,
users can navigate the microbial universe using specially developed micro-
scopes with 3D viewers and simple joysticks controls. All around, otherworldly
soundscapes designed by Peter Flamman imbue the area with a sense of
the unknown, drawing the guests to a functioning laboratory Kossmann.
dejong calls “the beating heart of Micropia.”
Ultimately, the Artis team believes visitors of Micropia will walk away with a
new perspective on the relationship between man and microbe, promising: “You
will never be able to look at yourself or the world in the same way again.”
Micropia ➤ continued from page 48
BELOW + RIGHT A two-story-high LCD wall connects
the upper and lower floors, and tells the story of
Micropia’s “star microbes”—selected out of billions
of potential candidates. “The most beautiful microorganisms don’t always have the best stories, and
vice versa. We had to find a good balance when
choosing our leading players,” said Michèl de Vaan,
a spatial designer at Kossmann.dejong.
See additional photography from this project in our
digital edition at interiorsandsources.com.