NIDA

Network for Information and Digital Access

IMAGINARY – Open Mathematics

Mathematical image gallery
as part of the IMAGINARY
exhibition in Istanbul
Exhibition booth at the Science
and Technology Week
in Kinshasa, DRC
3d printed algebraic surface
as part of the NIMS-IMAGINARY
exhibition at the ICM in
Seoul, South Korea
Coordinating Organisation IMAGINARY gGmbH, Germany
Organisers/Type of Organisation Non-profit organisation (NGO)
Initiative Type Image galleries, interactive software, hands-on models, 3D prints, films, texts, exhibits
Field of Science Involved Primarily Mathematics but other STEM fields are included in some projects
Target Audience(s) Public, formal and informal education, communities and individuals
Reach Global

Main Objectives

IMAGINARY creates and distributes interactive exhibits that communicate modern mathematics to the general public.

Description of work

IMAGINARY creates and distributes interactive exhibits that can be adapted or replicated to communicate modern mathematics to the general public. As a non-profit organisation they promote worldwide the understanding of mathematical concepts as well as the joy found in doing so by offering images, 3D prints, hands-on exhibits, films or interactive software as open source on the website imaginary.org. Thereby they empower people to organise local exhibitions and hence carry modern mathematics to every corner on earth.

Their philosophy and international network of math enthusiasts help them to constantly develop a variety of content that can be used in schools, at home, in museums, at exhibitions or for events and media activities. They also respond to produce new exhibits and to establish IMAGINARY as think tank for modern mathematics communication. Their platform allows an easy integration of new content, for example of additional mathematical subjects or exhibitions.    

Organisations and institutions as well as individuals can contact IMAGINARY at info@imaginary.org  for collaboration and support. The community is invited to think along, to work along, to help in design, programming or general implementation. Projects can be a new exhibition, new software, new ways of communicating maths, a publication, etc.

A recent example (April 2017) was a collaboration in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), between the local NGO Build With Mathematics and IMAGINARY to have a special interactive exhibition booth at the Science Village at the Gombe Institute in Kinshasa as part of the 4th edition of the Science and Technology Week.  An image gallery of algebraic surfaces and map projections was set up, together with an interactive touch screen station with various programs. This exhibition was supported by UNESCO.

A second example (launched 31st October 2017) is a workshop series Science Spaces, where teams of students, together with guides from IMAGINARY, develop exhibits related to the STEM subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which are subsequently presented in public exhibitions. Modern aspects, such as the interplay with art, sustainability and science communication are examined as well.

All projects have a makerspace flair (community exhibits, contests, exhibitions...), but they  do not offer special makerfaires (so far).

Results

    Started as project at the Mathematische Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach in 2008 and spinned-off in 2016 with support of the Leibniz Association, IMAGINARY has inspired millions of visitors in more than 50 countries and 27 languages with their exhibits ever since. Over 100 different exhibits are now available for replication and adaptation. Museums and Science Centres worldwide show IMAGINARY content, amongst others Deutsches Museum in Munich or the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in New York. 

    Selected interactive exhibitions include:

    • Argentina: exhibition at the Tecno-polis science city in Buenos Aires
    • Democratic Republic of Congo: Build With Mathematics special exhibition 
    • Germany: permanent installation at the Mathematikon Shopping Center, permanent installation at the Deutsches Museum in Munich
    • Korea: exhibition at ICM 2014 conference in Seoul, now permanent installation in Daejong
    • Countrywide traveling interactive exhibitions in Belgium, Germany, Israel, Korea, Netherlands, Norway,  Spain, Taiwan, Turkey and Uruguay

    Resources used or generated

    IMAGINARY offers:

    • image galleries
    • interactive software
    • hands-on models
    • 3D prints
    • films
    • texts
    • custom exhibits for maths and science museums or other venues and occasions



    Contact Details
    Principal Contact IMAGINARY gGmbH
    Address Mittenwalder Straße 48, 10961 Berlin, Germany
    e-mail Andreas Daniel Matt, CEO
    Websitewww.imaginary.org
    Social Media Facebook
    Twitter - @imaginary_math
    LinkedIn
    Vimeo