Paradox Museum Stockholm: Thought-provoking, mind-boggling and wow-factor-guaranteed
By Nina Bressler | Photos: Paradox
Paradox Museum Stockholm opened in 2022 and became an instant hit. Since then, over 250,000 people have tried the mind-bending experience in central Stockholm, in which 70 different paradoxes give visitors an unforgettable experience as educational as it is entertaining. On its mission to challenge your preconceptions of reality, this museum pulls all the tricks out of the bag, and will enchant and mystify visitors of every generation.
What is a paradox, you ask? The museum describes it as ‘a logically self-contradictory statement or a statement that runs contrary to one’s established expectation’. Every exhibit in Paradox Museum is an experiment in our human understanding of the environment around us. It is filled with fun activities that make you question the reality we live in and think twice about the facts you perceive as given truths. As the museum embarks on their one-year anniversary celebrations, they can look back on a successful year of laughter and joyful exploration.
An analogue museum for everyone
The idea was born in Greece and brought to Sweden by Janne Broman, who, in addition to Paradox, founded the acclaimed photography gallery Fotografiska in the Swedish capital. “It’s a privilege working with Broman and to be in the presence of such enthusiasm and great vision. His professionalism is inspiring and is the main reason why one of the first Paradox editions in the world came to Stockholm,” says Erika Charbonnel, CEO at Paradox Museum Stockholm.
Currently, there are only two other Paradox Museums in the world – in Oslo and Miami – but the concept is spreading fast. Museums in Limasol in Cyprus, Paris and Barcelona will open this spring, and London is next in the pipeline. Paradox Museum Stockholm is located in Hötorget, in the midst of the bustling city centre, and has become a popular destination for people of all ages. “We’re happy to see people from every walk of life – be they young, old, school groups, couples on a date, corporate teams – get absorbed by the illusions of the paradoxes and have fun exploring together. It’s a tactile museum and the visitors actively participate throughout,” says Charbonnel.
What? Huh. Wow!
The stations are made up of clever exercises, destined to trick the mind into believing that what it sees is true. Walking through a spinning tunnel gives your mind the impression that your body is spinning, though in fact you’re walking on steady ground. The eye perceives the movement, but the brain won’t correctly register what is happening, so you’re tricked into believing that your entire body is spinning.
The popular Upside Down Room is the perfect photograph spot. Here, seemingly freed from gravity and glued to the ceiling, you’ll appear to cling to earth only by holding on to the items of furniture inside the room. The Ames Room will turn short people tall, while taller individuals will become half the size. “It’s about challenging beliefs and digging deep into how we perceive the world around us. Things are not always what they seem to be at first glance, and this proves how important it is to be open to different realities. The interactive elements of this museum are there to start a discussion in your group and with the staff,” says Charbonnel.
A dynamic space where interaction is key
The Paradox staff, clearly distinguished through their black-and-white overalls, are there to help you understand what you see, guide you through the experience and help you take brilliant, mind-boggling action shots to bring home, post on social media and show your family and friends. QR-codes are another guiding element throughout the experience for anyone who wants to understand more.
The museum never stops evolving, hosting regular events that encourage an even deeper level of dynamic exploration. Holidays and seasonal shifts are observed in fun ways, and Easter week will be brimming with exciting events to celebrate the museum’s one-year anniversary. “People return over and over, bringing another group along for the ride, and the museum is filled with laughter and joyful shrieks when people see the pictures and realise what simple tricks can do to our perception. The Paradox experience is about being wowed while learning new things and having a great time. We’re here to challenge your perceptions of what reality is. Paradox Museum will make you think again,” Charbonnel concludes.
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