Summing up exactly what is The Leonardo in one word or phrase is tough. Part technological exhibit, part art venue and part research facility, it is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s unlike any other museum and explores cutting edge technology, art and how those factors intersect with daily life.
Take, for example, the Hylozoic Veil, a three-story installation that explores responsive architecture and is made of tens of thousands of lightweight, digitally fabricated components that are fitted microprocessors designed to react to human presence. It also uses carbon dioxide and humidity to filter and clean the air and has tiny motion sensors that cause the branches to move. The next-generation, artificial intelligence device is a synthetic solution to air filtration and a visually stunning work of art.
“That’s where The Leonardo really makes its mark, with technology, science and creativity,” said museum spokesperson Lisa Davis. “We have such a wonderful collection of beautiful, interesting and functional displays and pieces.”
The Leonardo is perfect for people of all ages and is just as appropriate for a date as it is for a Saturday afternoon with the family. The exhibits are largely interactive and include touch-screen demographic displays that explore issues of identity, a large satellite projection of the world on the floor that is controlled by little arrows and green screens and animation studios. Other exhibits highlight the progression of prosthetic limbs and allow museum-goers to explore the advances in those technologies.
The second floor of the museum features the Human Rights Gallery. The collection of photos explores how advances in science and technology can affect how human rights issues are affected and the responsibilities that accompany innovations.
The museum, which opened its doors on Oct. 8, features 10 exhibits, digital workstations, a green screen, a motion capture bay, films, audio tours, special tours and more. Classes and events are scheduled periodically. Exhibits will rotate about every six to 18 months, and everyone from local artists to architects and scientists will have a chance to display their work.
“This is one of those places that you can come and rush through everything in 30 minutes, or you could spend an entire day here and really get to explore everything in-depth,” Davis said.