Switzerland sci-fi museum
Last week, I visited the Maison d'Ailleurs in Switzerland, which is a museum of science-fiction and utopia. The only public institution of its kind in the world, it's a non-profit foundation functioning both as a public museum and a specialized research center.
They have temporary exhibition (with people such as H.R. Giger, John Howe or Alejandro Jodorowski) and have a tremendous "Espace Jules Verne" with tons of documents (books, pictures, objects) related with this author. They also have a library with a huge collective of pulps and sci-fi documents that can be interesting for researchers.
The most intriguing activities are certainly the research aspects. For example, they have done a project with the European Space Agency called Innovative Technologies from Science Fiction for Space Applications (ITSF). The Maison d'Ailleurs was commissioned by ESA to organise and lead a study of technologies found in science fiction literature in 2000-2001:
"The study supervisors - along with SF writers, engineers, experts and anyone seriously interested in the project - are identifying whether any of these technologies might hold potential for further analysis leading to feasibility studies. The technologies listed are being examined to see what might be possible with today's knowledge, technologies and materials, or what new technologies and knowledge might be required to make any of the identified SF concepts work.
Following this, an in-depth technological study will then be carried out in order to make a more extensive evaluation of the major technologies deemed to be of sufficient interest by a panel of experts. The objective will be to ascertain whether any of these are worthy of eventual consideration for ESA's long-term space programme"
Why do I blog this? beyond my fascination towards sci-fi, this place seems to be a highly relevant institution. The material they have can be very interesting for researchers and as a material to work on design related issues. Besides, the museum director will give a speech at Lift 09.