It is an exhibition about simple objects that people take for granted but they each have a unique story to tell. Professor Mike Bruton, the curator of this exhibition, tells stories of the ‘Post-it’ note that started off as a flop with a glue that wasn’t strong enough and yet it is now used worldwide; Velcro arose because an observant scientist noticed that cocklebur seeds stuck to the fur of his sock; The Band-Aid was invented to heal the cuts of an accident-prone wife while the light bulb took decades of focussed research on two continents to be perfected.
The exhibition is designed to encourage observation, understanding, discussion and debate. Some of the Miniature Marvels were designed on purpose, others by accident, certain form part of bigger machines while others work by themselves. Many of them have achieved the perfect balance between form and function while others are useful, benign, affordable and ingenious, and some are even iconic and beautiful.
“Few of us know who invented these everyday objects, where and when, and most of us are clueless about the fascinating stories they tell. When we learn about them, these ‘little friends’ spring to life and become part of our everyday conversation.” added Professor Bruton.
According to Busisiwe Maqubela, the Chief Operations Officer of the Cape Town Science Centre “one of the main roles of the Science Centre is to promote innovation. Each of the 48 tiny objects in the exhibition is beautifully designed to achieve a given function and many of them are ‘enabling technologies’ that led to other great inventions.” She adds that “another function of the Centre is to encourage people to have enquiring minds throughout their lives, not just as children. This exhibition encourages young and old to learn more about everyday objects and get them thinking about what else needs to be invented perhaps?”
This is the first of a series of temporary exhibitions that will be on display in the Cape Town Science Centre for limited periods in 2016.