Education experts and historians may be able to shed some light on what stage in the evolution of Western civilisation we started to think that learning is a serious affair and somehow separate from playing.
This distinction is as misguided, and as unhelpful, as the distinction between the processes that lead to scientific discovery and those that are deployed when creating art.
In the late 1990s, the Harvard Business Review reported on trends that saw businesses stage experiences that would engage customers in their target markets in novel ways in order to sell more of their goods and services. The appeal of immersive experiences and interaction that the business community learned from the world of theatre and theme parks would become known as the Experience Economy.
The packaging of multi-sensory experiences, however, is nothing new to the cultural sector.
Those working in museums, science centres and galleries understand that visitors are curious creatures, seeking an opportunity to learn, be inspired by an encounter of an aesthetic kind, or enter a world different from their own for a brief period of time.
In these ways, a visit to a place of learning offers us the same joy of discovery that travel provides us.
In the case of the internationally renowned Da Vinci Machines exhibition, visitors travel back in time to the Renaissance when innovation and creativity in the arts enabled a scientific revolution. By interacting with the functioning models constructed from Leonardo’s drawings, visitors gain a rare glimpse inside the mind of the genius polymath.
There are many ‘a ha’ moments in this exhibition and the Discovery Centre Bendigo has scheduled a number of events that will enhance the experience and make it even more enjoyable and memorable. These include Mona Lisa and Merlot to have fun as you learn to paint your own masterpiece, and Taste of Italy to learn about the history of Italian Renaissance art as you sample wines from acclaimed Heathcote wineries.