Think Tank

We Made It


Thinktank wanted to develop a new hands-on science gallery that explained to visitors how and why Birmingham became known as ‘the workshop of the world’, and how innovation continues to be part of the cultural identity of the region. In We Made it there are four clear sections – Nuts & Bolts, Treasure, Tins and Things and Gadgets. Nuts and Bolts focuses on Birmingham’s role in making iron and steel goods for the world, but the city is equally famous for its Jewellery Quarter innovations too – hence a Treasure section. Tin and Things spreads the net a little wider, to include aluminium products and Black Country glass-making skills, while Gadgets shows how many different materials are used to make everyday objects from cameras to phones.

The exhibition includes 1,200 individual objects and more than 20 hands-on activities for children.


After being awarded the contract last year, Paragon spent six months designing, developing and constructing the interactives for the ‘We Made It – Nuts, Bolts, Gadgets and Gismos’ exhibition at Thinktank in Birmingham.

Paragon’s scope included the design development, manufacture and successful installation of a large range of engaging interactives, including some that look at car manufacture within the Birmingham area. One of these allows visitors to lower an engine into a car chassis and another involves the assembly of a Mini against the clock.

Each interactive enables visitors to explore the science behind the materials and manufacturing processes that were used historically in Birmingham and each is located alongside original historical objects from the City of Birmingham’s manufacturing and natural science collections.


“Visitors will be able to engage with science through familiar themes and link earth’s resources with working machines,” says Janine Eason, the Director of Learning and Exhibitions, who’s included a Mini you can assemble while you’re there.

“Birmingham and the region have such a rich history of manufacturing. It will be fascinating for families to explore it. We are extremely excited about the opening of the gallery.”

Our client: Think Tank
Designed by: At Large

We are social

STAFF FOCUS: Tim DeCoste, Interactives Workshop Manager

Q: Name?
A: Tim DeCoste but they call me moose now there’s four Tims.

Q: What and where did you study?
A: Seaquam secondary school in my motherland of Canada. University didn’t seem challenging enough so I went to major in waterparks abroad.

Q: How long have you worked at Paragon Creative?
A: 3 years this month.

Q: What development / training have you undertaken since joining the team?
A: IOSH managing safely and the ever-important manual handling and fire warden training. And of course the sage mentoring of Jon Myers (Operations Director) and Chris Nuttall (Technical Director).

Q: Favourite Project to work on and why?
A: Dig It Dubai Springs. It was an achievable project that has resulted in a great success which is always a boost knowing the work our department put in to it, I’m sure others did OK as well. I also got to be involved in the installation, something I don’t often get to be a part of, luckily I still have my old work boots so I almost blended in seamlessly if not for my eloquent speaking and perfect hair.

Q: What do you like about working at Paragon?
A: Everyday poses a new challenge. It’s also close to home so that’s nice.

Q: Dream project to work on?
A: If we could do something ice hockey or maple syrup based I’d be very much in my comfort zone.

Q: What does your department do?
A: Builds big toys!
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2 days ago

Go moose eh 🤙

2 days ago   ·  1

No dad !!! Don’t make me wear it !!

2 days ago

Moose? You'll always be Diego to me

16 hours ago

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