Ready? Go! – The history of sport and technology

Date: 03/2017 – 06/2019

Location: Mannheim

Client: TECHNOSEUM, Landesmuseum für Technik und Arbeit in Mannheim

From November 2018 to June 2019, the Technomuseum in Mannheim will be exploring the strength of the connection between technology and sport with its new special exhibition, “Ready? Go! – The history of sport and technology”. The extent to which it is possible to measure sporting prowess is only one of many facets explored over six chapters. Alongside “Sport & History”, “Timekeeping” and “Spectator Sport”, the “Athletic Body” are also the subject of exciting exhibits. The shift from sportsmanship as a form of competition with others to a way of optimising one’s own body is also reflected in the exhibition – historical measuring instruments are displayed alongside so-called wearables: constant companions giving us minute-by-minute feedback on our activity. Around 400 exhibits represent the broad spectrum of the connection between sport and technology. The most ancient piece is a two-and-a-half-thousand year old Greek amphora: filled with olive oil, this was one of the trophies awarded to the winner of a race. The concept of free time was first introduced into the lives of workers by the Weimar Republic, and sport became a mass movement.

In addition to elite clubs, some sports associations for workers and women also came into being in the 1920s. Comparisons from recent history illustrate the social change that has taken place in the world of sport. The fact that in 1989, the prize for the Women’s European Championship in football was a dinner service, while a year later, the official prize in the men’s competition was 125000 Deutschmarks, is also a part of sporting history. Molitor realised the exhibition after winning a design competition. The architecture of the exhibition is made of textile constructions, and the graphics reflect thousands of years of sportsmanship, historical events and turning points in the history of sport and technology. Many of the pieces on display are presented using the exhibit holding system designed by Molitor.

Photos: © Katharina Schmans/molitor

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