IXD301 – Element Exhibit at Ulster Museum

In week 7 one of our tasks was to explore the recently composed elemental exhibit located on the third floor of the Ulster Museum beside Botanic. I decided to go to check it out as it could give me some ideas or extra knowledge about my project and the periodic table.



Despite coming to the museum for this I did do the whole tour which was great. I got to the third floor and was amazed at the exhibit and how professionally it was displayed with many of the elements that are categorized into each individual quarter such as life, death, technology, fusion, progress and fashion. These individual exhibits all displayed relative iconography to their elemental counterpart.  This instantly got me ecstatic as this would be greatly beneficial in my inspiration and ideation of my own character design/development of my project.

For example, iron shown in the ulster museum display as an iron made out of majority iron can show its symbolic representation to the closest man-made object there (one of the many examples). Therefore creating a character made out of iron could possibly be a large and heavy maid who irons clothes.

I really loved this colorful display of the periodic table showing the people who created, the material and chemical makeup of each element. It is creatively displayed and colour coded into individual groups.

What have I learned?

This was an unexpectedly astonishing exhibit that showed a great array of elements in both their natural form and human-made form which included information of the many uses they hold. I really loved the different exhibits that I have mentioned above and all the ways they are creatively displayed.

  • Symbolism and iconography that are relative to human-made objects.
  • Idea creation & character development for my personal project.
  • Diverse uses and displays of the many elements.
  • More in-depth contextual knowledge about each element, how they are structured and used in both the historical and modern era.

How has this benefited my project? 

Firstly, this has hugely benefited my project as what I have planned to do is develop elemental characters based on their real-world attributes. For example, helium (HE) would be a character with a balloon as that is symbolic to that element. This trip also reminds me of the historical connotations of some elements especially the deadlier elements that were used in the 19th century which many children will just not get. Lastly, it has also given me a better insight into how each element works and what job it can do or create. This in turn makes me more aware and knowledgeable in describing each element in my project.





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