Interactive tables at Dutch Innovation Zone World Expo 2015

Dutch food innovation

The Netherlands is leading in the world of food innovation. Museon, a Dutch museum of science and culture, had been asked to create an inspiring environment for reception of trade missions and country delegations during the food-themed Milan World Expo 2015. Museon partnered with NorthernLight to create the ‘Dutch Innovation Zone’, showing inspiring Dutch solutions to global food challenges. In the heart of Milan, the beautiful Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci hosted the exhibition.

Share, live, grow

The rich story of Dutch food heritage is told in a sequence of three themed rooms: SHARE, LIVE and GROW. Two interactive projection tables in the SHARE and LIVE room tell the story of Dutch agri-food, standing as impressive centerpieces in an immersive space. The GROW room shows Dutch creativity in food innovations in a bright pink monochromatic room, lit by Philips horticulture LEDs.

The SHARE table shows that the Netherlands is one of the most important links in global food distribution. The world map shows the amazing amount and variation of food distributed from the Netherlands to every corner of the earth. Visitors can choose a specific food item and see it travel all over the world. This beautiful effect thus functions as an interactive high-tech infographic of the Netherlands as a global leader of food distribution and innovation.

The LIVE table shows the evolution of food as it is consumed and prepared in the Netherlands over centuries; nutritional and health value is evaluated per century. The table is as simple as it is attractive. Just like the SHARE table, it functions as an interactive high-tech infographic: per century food groups are added to a wooden tabletop, letting visitors discover the heritage of Dutch food culture through time. The table tells the compelling history of the Dutch dinner table: from potatoes to Michelin star dinners to engineered foods, the Dutch have seen, created and eaten it all.

Unique features

The tables were made in an elegantly simple, affordable and robust way. The technical set-up is a combination of projectors, sensors, and dedicated software on standard PCs. The project is unique in the way that this magic effect, a few years ago only possible with expensive equipment and software, was achieved in a very short time frame and for a very affordable budget.

Positive reactions

High-ranking Italian and Dutch officials opened the exhibition. The interactive tables sparked immediate interest and attention of the visitors. The Dutch ambassador in Italy was quoted saying: “These amazing interactive tables are great tools for showing how important the Netherlands are in worldwide agri-food innovation.”

The Dutch Innovation zone is an environment where museum visitors and official delegations alike can be amazed by Dutch agri-food innovations. With the SHARE and LIVE tables as smart and simple interactive tools, the Dutch Innovation Zone becomes more than a showcase of Dutch food: it becomes an inspiring encounter with Dutch heritage, where history and innovation go hand in hand.

Extra media