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RP’s first Mind Museum to rise in Global City

By Rhodina Villanueva
Thursday, July 31, 2008 [ philstar.com ]

The first world-class science museum in the country dubbed “The Mind Museum” will soon rise in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig.

The Mind Museum, a P1-billion project of the Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc. (BAFI), aims to contribute to the country’s science education as well as inspire students to specialize in science and technology.

Manny Blas II, managing director of the project, said the museum aims to provide locators and visitors a civic and cultural place to complement the existing residential, commercial, institutional and retail establishments at BGC.

“The galleries in the museum will feature science facts, the process of discovery and their applications in technology. It is to be a place where visitors can learn science principles in a fascinating and interactive way, where teachers can find new and exciting ways of teaching science, and where students can satisfy their curiosity about how the world works. The Mind Museum is to be a venue where visitors will be fascinated with science. Fascination results from learning something in an entertaining and engaging way,” Blas explained.

The museum will be located across the future luxury Shangri-La Hotel and the unified Philippine Stock Exchange building. The Fort Bonifacio Development Corp. is donating the land for the project.

The museum will include various galleries that will be sponsored by major donors, including The Life Gallery (donor: Ajinomoto Phils.), The Theater (Ayala Land Inc. which is also providing consultancy services for the design and construction management of the museum), The Awesome Laboratory (BPI Foundation and the Bank of Philippine Islands), Earth Gallery (Del Monte Phils.), Universe Gallery (Globe Telecoms Inc., IMI Group of Companies, Manila Water Co., and Nutri Asia).

The initial donations have reached P175 million and BAFI expects to attract more donors.

BAFI’s Board of Trustees includes Joselito Campos Jr., chairman; Fernando Zobel de Ayala, vice-chairman; Jaime Ayala, president; Anna Margarita Dy, treasurer; Mariano John Tan Jr., auditor; Edgardo Cruz Jr., corporate secretary; Aileen An. Zosa, Carlos Rufino, and Vicky Garchitorena, trustees.

The project was formally launched with the contract signing of initial major donors Tuesday at the BGC’s Community Facility Center.

Present at the contract signing were Katuaki Ogawa, president of Ajinomoto Philippines; Luis Juan Oreta, chief finance office of IMI Group of Companies; Luisito Alejandro, general manager of Del Monte Philippines; Reynaldo Mojica III of R. A. Mojica and Partners; Antonino Aquino, president of Manila Water Corp.; Vince Tan, executive vice president of Ayala Land Inc.; Jaime Ysmael, chief finance officer of ALI; Gerardo Ablaza, president of Globe Telecom; and Emmanuel Nisperos, president of NutriAsia Inc.

Assigned museum curator is Maria Isabel Garcia, a science writer and author of “Ecologia Filipina, An Almanac (1996)” and “Science Solitaire (2006),” a science book which won the National Book Award last year. Garcia is also a science columnist for The STAR.

The Mind Museum building is planned to be environmentally friendly and will reflect the principles of nature conservation.

BAFI wants visitors to learn some practical applications of nature conservation as part of their museum experience.

“The proposed building for The Mind Museum is already a science exhibit in itself which will feature a passive design for sustainability. The building will make use of a light colored exterior for solar heat reflectivity, sweeping curved roof for natural rainwater flow drainage, large glazed opening for natural wind ventilation and tilted façade for minimal solar reflection and heat gain are just a few of the exciting teaser features of the institution,” said Blas.

Science will be presented by the museum according to five main stories. Each story that will be concretized in the galleries will be an experiential discovery of the world around us: The Story of the Universe, The Story of Life, The Story of Nature, The Story of the Atom and The Story of Technology. Each of these stories will correspond to a gallery or a sphere of experience. The conceptual model is the buckey ball, where one sees a node-synapse-node pattern.

The museum project will also offer facilities and services that include science-in-the-park galleries to be located within the park around the museum structure. These covered galleries will feature science exhibits or sculptures (similar to The Pipes in High Street) which children can use as a playground while learning scientific principles.

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