Big Ideas for a Sharpe design

Leicester design consultancy Haley Sharpe Design has created the branding and interiors for a new £13m attraction in Irvine, Scotland, claiming to be “the world’s first inventor centre”.

The Big Idea has been jointly funded by the Millennium Commission and the private sector. It encourages visitors to generate their own big ideas, interact with exhibits and create things in a fun environment.

“The challenge was to offer the visitor an opportunity to look into everyday objects around them, see the inventions within and take that new insight and help them create their own big ideas and inventions,” says Haley Sharpe Design partner Bill Haley.

“We aimed to encourage through interaction – the idea that inventing is about the appliance and blending in unique ways of science, materials, mechanism, control and communication systems with power.”

In addition to more than 80 interactive exhibits, there is a motion-based ride featuring the history of explosions, plus an area that is dedicated to Alfred Nobel and the Nobel laureates, which includes a magic library.

Haley adds: “The process was extremely challenging but immensely enjoyable. We pursued approaches and followed ideas down many dark cul-de-sacs, until we ultimately worked the process through, and hopefully created an environment which will in some small way help to encourage inventors of the future.”

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