Recent Wanderings… Leonardo da Vinci at the Science Museum

Last week I took the opportunity of a work trip to London to pop by the Science Museum and visit the new Leonardo da Vinci exhibition. The exhibition showcases models made from his sketches made in 1952 celebrating the 500th anniversary of his birth.

It was very interesting and fascinating to see how some of his ideas have been applied ot modern technical advancements.  I wish I had a better memory to recall all the details I was reading about, but I can’t so based on a few odd memories and some photos of my favourite bits I hope to offer you incentive to visit yourself.

The below photo was of a self propelled vehicle. What I loved most about all these designs was that most of the signs included a note to ‘not workable at the time’, but have since turned out to inspire and look like tings we see today.

This was a miniature version of an armoured vehicle. The section on warfare and battlements was interesting. I found all the drawings were like things I would imagine from the fantasy novels I read.

I loved the atmosphere in the exhibition. The design and layout included many of these hanging with his drawings and writings on.  As I was heading to the museum most people were leaving so when I arrived at the exhibition it was very quiet and was still open for another hour or so. There ended up only being about 5-6 people in the space, which meant I could take the time I needed to look around without feeling other people wanted to get to the same bits. I would definitely go at this time of day again.

This bit just straight up freaked me out! Heads up you walk around a corner and straight into this.

The section on taking inspiration from living organisms was the most interesting to me. There were multiple videos featuring spiders, fish, birds, insects and the like that all related to drawings and models da Vinci made. This section also linked to the modern world most and showed applications in robotics and materials. This was a model of a robotic bird that the video shows taking off and flying like a bird. It was amazing!

I found these instruments beautiful and functional. If I ever live in a large house I would want to get pieces like this and learn how to use them even if putting them on display. There were also interactive things that got you thinking about engineering and how things work. I wouldn’t say it was a lot for kids though and was definitely more reading and looking than practical.

There was way more than I can show here and worth a visit. It really showed what da Vinci did back in the 1400s and how relevant they are today. I will be making the effort to add these trips on to future work trips in the future. It felt great to go and do something cultural for a change.

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