Integrated Photonics Exhibit on TU/e campus

‘Integrated photonics is not easy to explain, but it is one of the technological pillars of the future on which society will build. That is why we think a permanent exhibition in a highly visible central location at TU/e is essentialexplains Lucas Asselbergs, the Head of Studium Generale and project leader of TU/e at Dutch Design Week about the recently inaugurated Integrated Photonics Exhibit.

Once you enter TU/e’s green campus and walk past the water pond, you will see a newly rebuilt building where the central part of TU/e is based – the Atlas building. Its spaciousness allowed the Integrated Photonics Exhibit to be located on the first floor of Atlas, with three different parts: Technology, Industry, and Society. How did this exhibit come to life?

‘During the Dutch Design Week (DDW) in 2019, we had integrated photonics as an important topic for the first time in the TU/e exhibition. The question which came naturally was how well this temporary exhibit would be visited and understood during DDW. In the end, it was visited by 20.000 visitors’ says the fascinated leader of TU/e at Dutch Design Week. ‘Many people from TU/e managed to captivate a large crowd of interested people with good explanations and visual material’, adds Asselbergs.

But then the question was whether the same message – the fascination for new technology and for its applications – could be brought in a more permanent setting. A team including Lucas Asselbergs and his colleagues, TU/e researchers, and an external design agency (Volle-Kracht) was set up to design and realize the Integrated Photonics Exhibit in Atlas. After waiting for the end of the corona lockdown, it was inaugurated in July 2021. It is now regularly used for external visits to the TU/e and makes the field also visible to the students.

What role does this new technology play in modern society, and how is the ecosystem in the Netherlands supporting its industrial development? Come and see for yourself on the first floor of the Atlas building of the TU/e campus.