A forward looking exposition of telecommunication history

Helsinki, Finland
Client: Tekniikan Museo
Commission: 2014
Size: 400 m2

Helsinki Museum of Technology is located in Vanhakaupunki, the part of town where king of Sweden Gustav Vasa founded Helsinki in 1550. The idea to convert a former waterworks building in the estuary of the Vanta River was proposed in 1966 and the first exhibition was opened in 1972. The collection of the museum presents the story of Finland’s path from an agrarian country to a technology hotspot. The slogan “Look into the past, see the future” is used to show historical inventions and achievements that explain contemporary technology and a glimpse into future. The roots of the new lay in the old.

KOKO architects will design a new exposition for a quarter of the permanent exhibition space. The history of telecommunication exhibition runs through two floors of the cylindrical building. The core idea of the exposition is to show how the past dreams of the future became reality and how inventions and innovation are connected to people’s daily lives. Interactive applications help to view and illustrate several visions of the future from past centuries: the world of networking, mobile lifestyles and the virtual life.

Old inventions and technical achievements will be presented through high-tech and hands-on activities that are exciting for children as well as true technology fans. An “electrical mirror” will visualize the idea of video communication by Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt (1887–1925). The inventor, who was mainly interested in recording sound, also envisaged today’s video phones: “One day people will sit at home and follow events in the world with a device that I call an ‘electrical eye’.”

The culmination of the exhibition is a vision of our future. Visitors can present their vision to be recorded in picture and sound. Moving forward through the tunnel of the future, they will reach screens that depict life in a futuristic world.