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Exhibition: Science to Experience


Admission requirements

Media Technology MSc students


In this course students gain experience with communicating scientific insights by means of a designed experience instead of the written format that is common in science communication. After conceptualizing and materializing an experience, the works are presented as a public exhibition hosted by the students, and spanning multiple days.

The process is structured in the following way:

I. Students search for a scientific insight that is challenging to be translated into an experience. For example a theoretical or abstract scientific insight could be translated into a concrete experience. The term ‘translation’ is important in the sense that we do not want students to copy or repeat an experience that is already part of the scientific research itself, or create simply a demonstration of an insight — students must create the translation themselves.

II. After choosing the scientific insight it is reformulated in the form of a compelling statement. The statement describes the insight that students wish to convey to the audience, via a designed experience. The statement does not need to reflect the scientific insight directly; it may also contradict it, extrapolate it, re-appropriate it, or question it (in which case the statement takes the form of a question).
The statement should be compelling to the audience in that it is engaging, captivating, challenging, exciting, or infuriating.

III. Next, students develop a concept for the translation of the statement into a captivating experience that will be part of, and functions in the context of, the exhibition. The concept describes how you are going to achieve the experience of your statement: what is it that you will build or do. After developing the concept, it is important to test it in the simplest way possible, test if the key elements of your concept work. This is particularly relevant if the concept relies on assumptions of how people function/react.

IV. Finally, students realize the concept into its actual form. A popular form is that of an interactive installation, but we pose no limits on the form, other than that it must provide an experience to a general audience in an exhibition context. Alternative forms may include film, dance, performance, game, non-interactive exhibits, sensory or olfactory experiences, and so forth.

Students work in groups, generally containing three students plus a coach from the lecturer team.

Course objectives

After completing the course students are able to:

  • analyse a scientific insight in terms of its potential impact on a general audience;

  • translate this insight into a statement and subsequently an experience;

  • design and realise the experience for exhibition in a public space;

  • host the work in a public exhibition context.


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Lecture, Seminar, Excursion/Exhibition. Students are required to attend all plenary events (kick-off, site-visits, invited lectures, plus all other plenary meetings) and to host their work at the final public exhibition.

Assessment method

Evaluation of group works takes place based on the careful assessment of four criteria by the collective teaching staff involved in the course:

1) General process (16,666%)
This grade represents the quality of the done work (not to be confused with the realized work). This includes the quality of the exploration towards finding the insight (How extensive was the search? What directions were explored? Etc.), the quality of the statement development process, the quality of the concept development process, and the quality of realization process. The term quality includes motivation, dedication, collaboration, playfulness, out-of-the-box thinking, analysis, reflection.

2) Quality of the statement (16,666%)
Is the chosen scientific insight challenging to be translated into an experience, or is it obvious? How was the statement derived from the insight? What is the relation between the theme, the exploration process and the statement? Does the statement explain itself? Is it original and compelling? How “interesting” is the statement for the public?

3) Concept (16,666%)
Does the concept suit the statement? What alternative concepts were explored? Does the concept convey the statement, and was this validated through prototype (bubblegum and sticky tape) testing?

4) Final work (50%)
Does it work? When experiencing the work, is the statement conveyed? Does the work explain itself or does it require further explanation? Is the work original and compelling? Does the work use the exhibition format in an interesting and meaningful way? What is the implementation quality? Optional: does the interaction work well?

A paper that describes the group process must be written by the students. It may affect assessment of the work, but is not separately graded.

Reading list

Not appropriate.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Contact the lecturer(s) for course specific questions, and the programme's coordinator for questions regarding admission and/or registration.


The exact exhibition time schedule can only be determined as the course progresses, since it is dependent on variable factors such as number of groups and exhibition space availability and features.

Exchange students (other than Media Technology students) need to be admitted to the course before registration due to limited capacity. Contact the programme's coordinator to request admission; include a short description of your course interest and state your current study programme in your correspondence.

This course substitutes Exhibition: Statement to Experience (Level 500, 12 EC), and therefore it is not available to students who completed the previous version before 1 September 2020.