unconventional thinking: innovation in waterloo region

Unconventional Thinking: Innovation in Waterloo Region is a temporary exhibit highlighting 130 years of innovation in the Waterloo, Ontario region.

The exhibit included a variety of artifacts from the museum’s collection, which range from the Blackberry phone to an early car. A series of idea-based innovations were also showcased – many of which had no physical ‘artifact’.

Five elements that often lead to the success of a product or concept – Preconditions, Invention, Promotion, Competition and Consequences – were used as a framework to analyze the artifacts and ideas profiled in the show.

Throughout the exhibit, the clean white space is punctuated by bright, bold moments of color and light. Raised under-lit platforms serve as pedestals for featured displays, such as the ‘We Recycle!’ area, which describes the introduction of the iconic blue recycling box to Ontario. A series of large trading cards’ serve as object labels, highlighting an invention’s date of creation, place of origin, and creator.

In the Innovation Den, visitors watch a series of videos and can vote on what products might succeed. A multimedia voting system lets visitors decide if a product will succeed or fail. Another exhibit area includes a spinner wheel, where visitors can play game to see if their chosen product will succeed or fail, often with humorous outcomes.

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