The next time you visit Boston’s Museum of Science, look out for a familiar face. The Museum and Kara Miller, host of Innovation Hub, WGBH and PRI’s national radio show and podcast, have formed a unique local partnership called Wicked Smart: Invented in the Hub, a permanent exhibition at the Museum dedicated to showcasing Boston-area innovators. Miller collaborates with the museum to feature inventions from these innovators in changing display cases that are seen by more than a million visitors.
“Kara and the Museum share a goal of exciting and engaging the public by introducing them to creative thinkers who push the boundaries of what is possible,” said Christine Reich, Vice President, Exhibit Development and Conservation, Museum of Science. “Her tireless efforts to unearth these stories help us inspire the next generation of innovators as well.”
The current exhibit, on display since December 2018, features local inventors Ministry of Supply, a clothing company that merges fashion with technology. Incubated at MIT, Ministry of Supply was founded by co-founders Aman Advani and Gihan Amarasiriwardena to solve the problems of stiff, high-maintenance dress clothes by creating a new category of clothing that they call “performance professional.” For example, a stylish jacket exhibited in the museum case features heating panels that change temperature depending on the environment of the wearer.
Miller first met the duo in 2012 when she interviewed them for her show. The interactive exhibit allows visitors to touch fabric samples, watch a video highlighting Ministry of Supply’s design and testing process, and see a 3D-printed blazer and the heated jacket. With the touch of several buttons, visitors can listen to Miller in conversation with the pair.
“It’s not every day that we get a moment to step back and see our work and its impact in such a tangible way,” said Advani. “It was especially powerful to be featured in our Boston community, from the exhibit itself to the interview on WGBH, which allowed us to share our founding story.”
Miller says that the goal is to change the exhibit every six to nine months, and feature innovators in education, politics, medicine and more. She hopes each visitor will learn how much one or two people with big ideas can really change an industry. “Innovation is not just about science, technology, apps or video games,” she said. “It is everywhere.”
Listen to Kara Miller and Innovation Hub here.