We were tasked with visiting the Science Museum at South Kensington, specifically to see two exhibitions; Ada Lovelace and the Information Age. However despite the pamphlet saying that the Ada Lovelace exhibition was on floor 2, I could not spot it and no signs inside the museum seemed to point to it so this review will be focusing on the information age and other criteria.
The Information Age exhibition is the show a range of technological innovation and the evolution during the information age, specifically in the last two hundred years or so. There was a range of exhibits including, but not limited to; missiles used in Iraq and Afghanistan, old computers, 90s games consoles, a range of “mobile” phones and satellites.
I found the missile part of the exhibition quite interesting as the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are very recent and seeing that in a matter of years we went from missiles that had approximated guidance to supposedly accurate GPS guidance was quite interesting as history has suggested that war is the primary driving force behind technological advancements, which strikes me as impressive, intriguing, but also pretty ominous.
In other parts of the exhibition they also had interactive stations where you could tap a screen to learn more information about a certain subject or listen to survivor/witness accounts of various events such as Iraq and more.
They also had a Nintendo 64 Console and a book by Neal Stephenson that came up with the concept of an imaging program that could display the entire Earth, which inspired Google Earth. On display they also had one of the servers used when Google Earth was in its infancy.
Overall I found the exhibition quite interesting, but the layout was confusing. It either wasn’t there, or I just missed it, but there was no direction upon entry that told you which way to go to experience the exhibition as a timeline, which I felt would have been effective.
As is, the exhibition is a semi-sprawling mix of information from the last 200 years but without a real sense of direction. It’s more “user-friendly” to allow people to discover the Information Age at their own pace, slightly ironic considering the Information Age includes bombardments of 24hr news and social media, but I would have preferred a more structured exhibition so I could discover things in a timeline.