Opposites (3:43)Cité des sciences et de l'industrie

Promotional video Opposites exhibition

Welcome to the world of opposites!

Unusual and poetic, the exhibition immerses visitors aged 2 to 7 and their accompanying adults in an imaginary world of contrasting visual, sound, and tactile perceptions. In this unusual village, the familiar childhood places - home, school, park, shop, street - are reinvented in a sensory, visual, and joyful way.

Tall/small, fast/slow, acute/grave high/low, light or dark... Through contrasting perceptions, the child develops reference points and boundaries, within which he or she will gradually be able to introduce a range of sensations, emotions and ideas that are increasingly refined and nuanced. Opposites and nuances, which are essential notions for the development of young children, their understanding of the world and their ability to find their place in it, enable them to use their senses and their critical mind.

This exhibition offers us an opportunity to experience the wonders of the world. It seeks to surprise children, to make them laugh, to stimulate their imagination around words and language.

The kooky school

Well, at first glance, everything resembles an ordinary classroom. Yet this space is teeming with a multitude of “flawed” details that do not quite seem to add up, funny objects that are full of contradictions! Unbalanced chairs or a twisted ruler have found their way into the middle of the furniture…

Opposite pairs: hard/soft, prickly/soft, round/square, in/out, balanced/unbalanced, blurry/net, straight/twisted

The street of the mini giants

This street is unlike any other, giving the impression of variations in physical size: height, weight, volume and completely turns the scales upside down: some urban elements are oversized (5 times bigger), others shrunk (10 times smaller) to make you feel in turn like a giant or a Lilliputian.

Opposite pairs: large/small, heavy/light, low/high, slow/fast, piano/forte

The neat bazaar

In this store, the objects are in turn ordered, tidy... or completely disordered. The children are busy playing a big classification, sorting, and grouping game, thinking about the common and distinctive features of these strange goods. They build and deconstruct sets. These collective activities encourage the sharing of experiences between young and old. An animated film gives them an opportunity to extend their reflection and address questions related to identity and stereotypes.

Opposite pairs: order/disordered, similar/different

The discoloured house

The discoloured house invites the young visitors to discover the contrasts of light and colour. In the living room, the furniture, the walls, or the windows are areas of exploration to make the contrasts between dark and light or between darkness and brightness their own. The experience continues in the invisibility room, where children play camouflage games to test what is visible and what is invisible.

Opposite pairs: black/white, dark/light, coloured/discoloured, dim/bright, visible/invisible

The park in the sky

Here visitors discover a square "upside down". The sky and the treetops unfold on the ground while the children's playground, the pond and the sandbox are on the ceiling. A soundtrack reinforces the immersion in the atmosphere of the park.

The audience sits comfortably in the treetopsto observe the scenery upside down. The pond becomes the projection surface for an animation film.

Opposite pairs: upside/down, top/bottom, on the ground/in the air

  • Finding the seven weird things in the kooky school
  • Climbing up and over the houses of the miniature town
  • Organising and classifying, disordering, separating objects in the organized bazaar
  • Hiding in the invisibility room of the discoloured house
  • Lying in the trees and contemplating the park upside down