Week 10: The Information Age

by wangtianchen

London’s Science Museum have been launching a new permanent gallery, Information Age: Six Networks That Changed Our World. We have visited the exhibition on 3th of December 2014. The gallery examine and celebrate how information and communication technologies have transformed our lives over the last 200 years and how the history and material culture of information can be made relevant for today’s audiences.

Information Age is divided into SIX zones, each representing a different information and communication technology network: The Cable, The Telephone Exchange, Broadcast, The Constellation, The Cell and The Web.

Firstly, lets understand what is Information Age: a period beginning in the last quarter of the 20th century when information became easily accessible through publications and through the manipulation of information by computers and computer networks. [1]


I will show you a large exhibit that I think is relevance to communication design and describe why I think it is important of communication design.


Fiducial Voice Beacons

Fiducial Voice Beacons is a large-scale interactive artwork made by the artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Lozano-Hemmer’s artwork consists of 40 interactive light beacons located across the ceiling of the gallery. Each beacon holds a sound recording that is transformed from audio frequencies into beams of light. The sound recordings are voice messages that relate to information and have been collected from scientists, poets, artists and thinkers from the past and the present. Visitors are invited to interact with the artwork and to record their own messages thereby replacing the existing ones and producing a quasi-living archive. This work is a productive starting point for discussions on networks and user-generated content, as well as the political implications of voicing and communication technologies within artistic and curatorial practices.

Gallery visitors can select, listen and replace the sound recordings with their own message using a free downloadable app. The work changes constantly as the message of one visitor replaces another. In Lozano-Hemmer’s artwork the audience enjoy the relatively personal experience of listening to the audio content through headphones or the speaker on their hand-held device. [2]


From the first transatlantic telegraph cable that connected Europe and North America in minutes rather than weeks, to the advanced computing power of the modern smartphone, Information Age will look at the huge impact of developments in communication technology on all our lives. Fiducial Voice Beacons is a really great example to show how information age relevance to communication design and it is a really significant work of information age.




[1] Free Dictionary. (n, d). Information Age. Retrieved December 06, 2014 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/information+age

[2] SCIENCE MUSEUM. (2014). Visit us: Information age. Retrieved December 06, 2014 from http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/exhibitions/information_age/art.aspx