Visitors are the core of the Copernicus Science Centre. We are proud that you have put so much trust in us. It’s for you we are improving exhibitions, designing new exhibits and rearranging the Centre’s interior space. In December 2015 we started the process of introducing visible changes. The first stage of works will cover galleries located in the east wing of the 1st floor.
We have learnt a lot during the first five years of the activity of the Copernicus Science Centre. We saw and analysed how the assumptions we had made work in real life and how we should respond to new emerging needs. We looked for unconventional ideas, underwent training, tested new solutions and cooperated closely with different science centres in Europe and around the world. We opened new spaces: laboratories, Robotic Theatre, High Voltage Theatre, Thinkatorium and a rooftop garden. We introduced new attractions in our offer: scientific shows, experiments and workshops organised within our exhibition spaces. Our main aim has always been to provide our guests highly comfortable conditions for visits and to create space that encourages learning and gaining new skills. We therefore asked our visitors various questions and regularly evaluated exhibitions and organisation of the Centre’s space.
When we opened the doors of the Copernicus Science Centre to visitors, we weren’t expecting such a huge success in terms of attendance. It is a phenomenon on a worldwide scale that surprised not only us but also the science centres’ community around the world. Over a million visitors per year – that’s three times more than we assumed in our most optimistic prognoses! This proves not only the value of science but also a huge potential and aspirations that you – our visitors – have. Today the Copernicus Science Centre knows a lot about its audience. We have analysed not only its socio-demographic structure but also collected your opinions and listened to your suggestions and comments. By watching your passions and aspirations we have identified some needs and now we’re well prepared to answer them – by changing, for instance, some aspects of our exhibitions.
We have precisely evaluated our galleries. We wanted to find out what makes you visit them, how you use the exhibits, what you get out of coming to exhibitions, which needs they fulfil and which not, what is still missing. Which are your favourite exhibits and why? What makes you want to come back to us? Basing on our observations, we then drew some conclusions. We described the exhibition creation process, wrote a catalogue of good practices and recommendations for constructors of new exhibits. During the last five years we gained experience in designing and building the best exhibits. We then used it to analyse existing exhibits and compare them with our new approach. The aim was to check to what extent they would fulfil the goals we want to achieve. Finally, we determined which of the existing exhibits are in line with our new attitude, and which have to be replaced or significantly changed.
At the same time we carefully watched the space of the Copernicus Science Centre – not only exhibition spaces but also those created for your comfort: beginning with entrance zones, ticket windows through relax zones and ending with visual information system whose role is to make moving around the CSC easier. We are aware that a building designed for 300,000 visitors annually may reveal some defects with over a million guests we actually have each year. Luckily, we have managed to identify these problems and come up with solutions developed in collaboration with some top architects. Together with designers we also prearranged some visual changes that will make you leave our Centre only with the best impression. The whole space of the CSC will be unified in order to allow a more thorough reflection and fuller interaction with the exhibits.
Time has come to introduce some changes. This process will last two years and is divided into phases. The first phase covers refurbishment of the 1st floor space, where Humans and the environment, Lightzone and On the move galleries are located. Works will start in the latter, situated in the east wing of the building, facing Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie Street. On the move gallery will be closed on December 1, 2015 and reopened in a new, rearranged form on the beginning of March 2016. The exhibits you will see there will amaze you with precision and give you an even greater possibility of independent experimenting. Some of them will be built by ourselves, in our workshop. Existing exhibits that proved valuable will be amended and improved. Others will be ordered from the best constructors in the world. Among the exhibits there a few that require overshadowing and for them we’re building a special pavilion. Our Centre will also gain new relax zones, where all visitors will be able to “recharge” their batteries before continuing their exploration.
This is how we will start creating one big experimental space on the 1st floor. Successive phases will cover works on the ground floor in Re:generation and Buzzz! galleries. Their aim is also to raise the comfort of visits by improving our visual information system and modernising the entrance zones, ticket windows, cloakrooms and food & drink zones.