Next Generation, one of Greece’s leading event organizers and producers, is proud to present “Leonardo: The Genius” to the international public in the world’s largest interactive exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions, a unique and innovative event featuring 40 all-functioning, life-sized machines (1:1).
The exhibition contains 40 machines that were built after in-depth study of Leonardo da Vinci’s designs, by a group of scientists and skilled craftsmen
Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the mechanisms are life-sized and fully operational. Visitors may touch and set them in motion, combining fun with instruction.
The exhibits take the spectator into the magical world of machines devised by Da Vinci. Not only did this master engineer solve practical problems. Long before our era he also conceived the precursors of machinery that has been quite recently manufactured, such as the tank, machine gun and aircraft.
The materials used in construction were available in Da Vinci’s era, and are the ones proposed by the master himself. Including wood, rope and glue, the materials were crafted by hand, faithfully adhering to Da Vinci’s instructions and employing tools of the time rather than modern industrial implements.
Also housed in the exhibition space is a large screen displaying Da Vinci’s drawings and notes, the basis used for construction. In addition, a short documentary film on the artist’s life and multi-faceted body of work will be shown in a specially conceived space.
The exhibition is directed mainly at the broad public and children, combining education with fun. It is also aimed at people with a special interest in art, history, engineering or innovative exhibitions.
The machines are grouped into five sections. Four are based on applications linked to the elements, which held a strong fascination for Da Vinci. The fifth section groups other mechanisms he designed.
Simple and inventive machines that Da Vinci devised to solve practical, everyday problems, such as the easiest way to lift a heavy load. Employing the laws of nature, many of which he knew empirically before they were defined by science, Da Vinci designed systems to convert motion into energy, gears, lifting systems, and systems to transmit motion through ball bearings, which even today are used in the automobile.
In addition to the crane, printing press and oil press, Da Vinci also devised theatrical machines. The most impressive exhibit is definitely the robot, which he invented centuries before the technology revolution.
Models of flying machines that Da Vinci designed centuries before man conquered the skies. Spectacular are a contrivance with mechanical wings (ornithopter) to allow man to fly and a precursor of today’s hang glider, along with the parachute and a flying ornithopter bicycle.
Machines that employ the force of water to relay energy, such as the worm screw or Archimedes’ screw– equipment Da Vinci devised for man to walk on water– and the webbed glove, which matches today’s flipper and was meant to accelerate swimming.
Constructions for machine warfare, such as the canon, machine gun and – one of the exhibition’s greatest surprises – the armoured vehicle, a moving battle tank made of wood that has room for 25 people.
The exhibition is a spectacle in which knowledge and entertainment are entwined. Like a theatrical performance, the materials artfully take on a life of their own. Sound, light and shade mingle, all evoking Da Vinci’s past and our present. Our aim is to reveal the pulse of power, genius, and instinct– and the soul’s secret perceptions.
From the moment of entry to departure, each visitor will carve a line through space as if in a rite, an abstract motion that leads to Da Vinci and the complex edifice of his thought. As visitors, we may take part interactively in order to grasp and enjoy the source of the inventor’s inspiration. Here, the mind is activated, and our thoughts travel along with the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci.