Experience design

Het Spoorwegmuseum, Stalen Monsters:

Informal learning in an exciting ride.

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  •  Visuals by Menno Smidt


In 2004 the Dutch Railway Museum dared to transform their traditional railway museum into the most entertaining and popular museum of the Netherlands. Informal learning is key in all the different experiences that have been especially developed for the museum.

As designer and creative director, The SMILE of Experience created the third world inside the museum: an edutainment dark ride that tells the story about the period of the Dutch Railway around 1900.

The story and ride concept are based on the true history of three family generations of railwaymen working for the Dutch railways during the period of 1871 till 1970. Grandson is fascinated by his grandfather’s stories. They built up a small museum together at the attic of Grandfather’s house. There is lot to see, but still grandfather believes that only the experience of the work itself would really bring the stories of the railwaymen alive.

The SMILE of Experience was challenged to create a real theme park ride with exciting show elements. Hester succeeded by designing a track layout that also drops underneath a real locomotive and she designed several special effects to create the suggestion of collisions with locomotives and trains.

the SMILE of Experience: Experience creators for Theme parks & Museums.

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