Work is conscious action to satisfy needs, reaction to a perceived lack and active search for a meaningful life. It pulsates through society, economy, technology and culture like few other phenomena. Our personal attitude to work is just as diverse: In assessing it, we draw on a wide variety of definitions, values and experiences, which are influenced by age, gender, origin and level of education/qualifications.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution about 250 years ago, the nature of work has changed dramatically; it has become more complex. The first part of this exhibition puts a particular emphasis on some areas. The technical aspect concerns the handling of devices and machines. The spatial aspect comprises the workshop and the whole world. The social aspect addresses hierarchies in businesses and society. And, finally, consideration is given to the physical, mental and emotional effort work requires of us.
In the second part, we additionally address the aspect of the future, including both past utopias of work, production and everyday life and current predictions. Furthermore, we turn our attention to sensor technology as well as the fundamental principles of analogue and digital technology. As an example, we take a look at the changes in a number of professions in the course of history as well as the new techniques of additive manufacturing, such as 3D printing, in the context of long-term developments. We also aim to a provide a vivid explanation of the two terms “natural” and “artificial” and to present the range of available and newly invented materials. Last but not least, a section about makers provides a transition to the museum’s new techLAB.