“Scotland’s Time Lords” at Our Dynamic Earth

Time Lords Return to Spread their Teachings through AV
Edinburgh, UK

Download this project profile as a PDF

“Scotland’s Time Lords” honors the Scottish scientists who laid the foundation for the modern paradigm of plate tectonics. Three new interlinked galleries take visitors from an 18th century themed classroom with magic blackboards and talking portraits back through Deep Time to the Big Bang and beyond. Fifteen years after providing the complete audio-visual system for the Our Dynamic Earth attraction, Electrosonic returned to help bring “Scotland’s Time Lords” to life, providing the design and systems integration of the AV elements.

Time Lords
Photo by Jane Barlow

Visitors first pass through oak paneled doors and into a 19th century styled lecture room. Eminent geologist and ‘first Time Lord’ James Hutton demonstrates his theories on how the Earth was formed. Hutton appears to be in the room through an application of the Pepper’s Ghost technique, while his image is actually presented on a horizontally-mounted 63-inch LCD screen. He’s flanked by blackboard-style projection screens, fed by projectors, illustrating his talk. Portraits of later geologists, all with Scottish ties, come to life on 55-inch LCDs to comment on the importance of Hutton’s insights.

Time Lords

The second section looks at the contributions of Arthur Holmes, a professor of geology at Edinburgh University in 1942, whose studies led to the concept of plate tectonics. Visitors view a suspended globe presenting animations explaining plate tectonics and their relevance to earthquake and volcano zones. The globe by Pufferfish, uses a ceiling-mounted projectiondesign projector with a custom lens to project onto the internal surface of the sphere, while a computer plays out source images and provides the geometric corrections required to deliver distortion-free images.

Time Lords
Photo by Jane Barlow

The Deep Time Machine comprises the third and final portion of the new exhibits. Styled as a large elevator, the gallery transports visitors back in time to the Big Bang, showcasing giant images on 55-inch LCDs. In a collaboration between Our Dynamic Earth and ISO, new footage offers visitors the chance to witness the development of the universe and the early days of Earth.

Time Lords
Photo by Jane Barlow

When the “elevator doors” open at the conclusion of the journey, visitors exit to the science centre’s existing spaceship-themed “How It All Started” show which features a new film produced by National Space Centre Creative (NSC Creative).

Most source and control equipment is housed in the existing AV racks in the central control room. HD players for the Time Machine are located adjacent to the displays they serve. Audio equipment includes loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing.

Time Lords

The new exhibition was designed by the award-winning exhibition and interpretive design team Studio MB, and the fit-out contractor was Paragon Creative. Show content was conceived by Studio MB and produced by ISO Design of Glasgow. Project management and contract administration was also by Studio MB.