Sunday, July 15, 2012

Footsteps - Corpus (Netherlands)

Welcome back again, readers, and here with another article on Footsteps, this time, on an immersive museum experience based in Europe, and surprisingly a referential equivalent to the early addition for the Life and Health pavilion - an OmniMover ride titled the Incredible Journey Within. However, this attraction directly takes a leaf from the book on what the Wonders of Life would have had...

The introductory tourist video, which explains Corpus facts and figures at a glance.

Corpus, devrived from the Latin word for body, is the name of an immersive museum located in the Netherlands, and much like a handful of the museum exhibits covered in Footsteps, it is a museum combining two different experiences, both of which the Wonders of Life would have looked up to. Being a unique exhibit of its kind, and not just recognised with critical acclaim in Europe (but likely the whole wiorld), here's a quote from its official website:
There is nowhere else where you will be able to take such a special look at how the human body functions. You will learn how the human body is made up, how it works and what you should do to keep it healthy. A healthy lifestyle, balanced diet and enough exercise form the philosophy of CORPUS!
Part of a walk-through innerspace tour, as seen in the CBS photo gallery:   
Yes, you heard right - the goal of this museum is to educate visitors on how ingenious the human body is, as well as the joys of healthy living and eating. On entry into the building, a typical visit starts off with a 55-minute, 5-dimensional, immersive tour "...through a giant 35 meter (115 feet) tall replica of the human body", with some joyous monumental stops along the way...
  • starting from the knee joint, which describes the muscular and skeletal systems, describing and demonstrating movement, and even the formation of blood cells in bone marrow
  • along the blood vessels and circulatory system, including a show on the workings of the human heart (the Heart Theater)
  • the inside of the mouth and the stomach, demonstrating the digestive process (kids will appreciate getting to jump on the rubbery bouncy tongue surface, as well as the awe of surrounded by the infamous borborygmous-gurgles and belches from down the tract)
  • the beginning of life - conception - and life inside the womb, tracing on embryonic and foetal development of a new life (Womb theater)
  • the nervous system, with an iconic biological-demonstrative show of the brain and its relationship with the body.
After this, visitors enter the Medical Information centre, with handfuls of interactive displays rich with wonderful information about the health and body, and also some fun activities and tests available for the public. The blurrier the lines between the exhibit components in the exhibit (after research), the more I found it a reminiscent combination of Frontiers in Medicine, Fitness Fairgrounds (for instance, the testing exercise bikes for users to check on the heartbeat during exercise), and Sensory Funhouse after a hard-hit course of Physiology... however, on further discovery, there are a lot of interesting unique exhibit additions that I could imagine being an innovative healed thumb for a typical revival of a future Wonders exhibit.

Row 1,Video: Footage of parts of the 55-minute immersive innerspace tour
Row 1, Photo: Interactive LGG Intestinal Bacterial Battle game at the Medical Information Hall
Row 2, Left Photo: Display of the lungs with accompanying visual fact file
Row 2, The LCG Battle game, video footage
The interactive displays and exhibits, demonstrated in the above photos and videos, indicate its appeal towards young and old, such as the use of engaging graphics for visual fact files on the amazing aspects of our body, for instance. While the anatomical displays by current standards may not necessarily add to interactivity value, it does allow guests to literally take a sneak peek at their organs up close and personal, and even get to know some of their interesting facts and statistics.
With regards to design elements, especially with some source photos of the Medical Information centre of the museum, the striking navigational key tying parts of the area together is a large arterial model, the 'lifeline' of the exhibit, which also houses some smaller exhibit components. Bright colours and eyecatching displays, even when staying true to the anatomical and medical aspects of the exhibits regardless of location. The design layouts were up to date, they were streamlined and contemporary, and they definitely do their best to attract, interest and educate audiences.
However, what intrigues me is that with regards to parts of the museum, from the 55-minute long tour, all the way to the activity and health centre, it appears that there is a lot of research put into matching (and kind of surpassing) the anatomical nooks and crannies of our bodies to make it the borderline next-best thing to an authentic experience inside the body, as shown with a walkthrough below:

The "Making Of" video, showing the construction and extensive research put into the museum. (The language used is purely Dutch; just concentrate on the construction and designing part)
With regards to the intricate work done (including some referencing and some top notch research) while the museum undergone construction, as demonstrated in the above "making of" video, and this involved the consultation of medical specialists and nutritionists, upping the ante for an authentic experience. Note the architectural and design considerations as the museum undergoes a step-by-step construction, from the structure, all the way to the replication of the inner-organ structures as close to a T as possible.
A lot of intricate detail has been put into the models, which somehow would remind some of you readers of what would have been part of the Incredible Journey Within ride. Truly, with a lot of research done into the areas of the body to be explored by guests, you can clearly say that the people involved in the making of Corpus have succeeded in transferring guests into another world on the inside. (Even the Dutch royal family was impressed!)
With regards to the biomedical side of life and health, Corpus has managed to hit the nail on the head quite nicely, being the center-point museum now known around the Netherlands (if not Europe-wide), and as WOL4EVA notes in this article, this I cite as a source of inspiration, or even a similar-niche museum or exhibit following in a more realistic, logical but all the more amazing footstep pattern.
As always, here are some pages cited for your pleasure of following up at your own online leisure:
So readers, if you have any experiences pertaining to the exhibit (sadly I excluse myself as I have never been in this museum before), or if you have any thoughts poking at you from behind, please feel free to leave a comment below. Until next time, readers!

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