In what could be the finest line-up of interactive exhibits of 2011, the Architectural Association is bringing a time machine, a giant self-balancing mechanism and an impossible pinball machine to London this month.
The installations are part of the two-year Beyond Entropy project, led by the AA School of Architecture, which brings together scientists, architects and artists to broaden the ways we think about energy.
The show will be taking over Golden Square in Soho from 22-29 January and will feature a series of free events exploring the works on show.
Each exhibit is designed to showcase a particular type of energy. The time machine is a working exploration of a machine dreamed up by 19th-century French writer Alfred Jarry, created by a team featuring cosmologist Professor Andrew Jaffe and architect Shin Egashira to explore mechanical energy.
The ultimate aim of the machine is to have all components working together at such a speed as to resist all forces and eventually resist our motion through space and time…
A (slightly) more grounded exhibit is the impossible pinball machine, developed by a team including architect Julian Loeffler and artist Peter Liversedge to explore potential energy. When the player tries to operate the machine, they simply charge the balls with potential energy. The balls remain unplayable until they are ready to release their energy.
Visitors will also be able to explore rows of identical 3D copying machine components, each slightly different from the last, and a montage of images and stories exploring climate change.
Beyond Entropy will be at the Q Forum, 5-8 Lower John Street, London, from 22-29 January.