Oxford Science Museum – Didactic Models in Stereo

Sun Dial

Sun Dial

Sun Dials

Sun Dials

Orrery

Orrery

Planetary Model

Planetary Model

Some of the wonderful didactic models in the science museum in Oxford. The Orrery is very similar to one that used to be in the Science Museum in London and was displaced by an exhibit called something like the Sainsbury’s Food Experience that exhibited a 1980’s domestic kitchen and worse. One of my interests in didactic instruments is that the care in their construction seduces one to believe them. Despite their intention to explain they are often just slightly too complicated to immediately understand but it is clear there is something there to understand, and so we imagine into them, often into worlds independent of the intended content. The dioramas have a similar possibility.

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