With the new German Romantic-Museum, the city of Frankfurt gained another cultural attraction of international relevance. From an early stage, we were put in charge of the media infrastructure of this major project. Together with the scenographers from Sounds of Silence, we developed over 40 individual media stations from concept to implementation and coordinated external creatives, manufacturers and suppliers as the main technical consultant.
A new cultural flagship
An epoch reveices a home
Right next to the historic Frankfurter Goethe Haus, invites visitors to dive into the world of german romanticism. Over the past 100 years, the Freies Deutsches Hochstift has compiled an unprecedented collection of German Romanticism. This wealth of knowledge, artworks and objects was now turned into a permament exhibition on 800sqm – for citizens, tourists, educators, experts, researchers and school classes alike.
The museum is built upon years of research and the knowledge of numerous curators and experts. Exhibits ranged from simple audio players to highly data driven research exhibits. Therefore, we were dealing with an exceptional amount of content that was growing and evolving during the realisation phase. To grant our client maximum flexibility and independence, we set up a bespoke content management system. All data, text and media are stored and edited in this one place, making updates easy and allowing a clear overview.
Historical content, new media
Credibility and experience
The collection of Freies Deutsches Hochstift comprises an exceptional amount of original handwritten documents and letters, of books, drawings and sketches. As unique as these items might be, they are not easy to turn into an exciting and
multifaceted exhibition – not only because they are difficult to read also because they need to be protected from light and stored safely in display cases.
Together with the scenographers and curators, we have developed numerous tailor-made solutions. The aim was always to emphasize the magic of the works of art and not to belittle it with technical gadgets. Authenticity and scientific accuracy are embedded in playfully light digital levels of storytelling, research and laboratory setup. All media exhibits were individually tailored to the topic, which required a deep understanding of the subject matter and close cooperation with the museum's experts.
A digital magnifying glass
Despite its small format, Armgard von Arnim’s “Huldigungsarabeske” is cluttered with details, strange figures and objects that demand for further explanation. With a smart combination of physical and digital, we developed a media installation that adds an interactive layer for exploration of the delicate artwork.
Life journeys in split seconds
The interactive map is a centerpiece of the new museum and brings together the results of several research projects of the Freie Deutsches Hochstift. It visualizes the era of Romanticism by tracing the journeys and stages of life of its protagonists and highlighting their epicentres. It creates references to other memorials of the Romantic era and is both a collaborative research tool and an interactive anchor point for guided tours. In an extensive concept phase, we supported the museum's curators and researchers in filtering and organizing the wealth of information and translating it into a pedagogical approach. Based on data sets that were researched from diaries, correspondence and border crossing documents, the lives of over 30 historical people over a period of 134 years have been brought together in an interactive experience. An accompanying website shows other protagonists and additional data visualizations.
The centerpiece of the media station is a touch screen table fitted with a custom rotary knob to scroll through time. It always depicts a map – but with changing borders and four individual modes selectable by touch to display the information desired. A wall projection adds images and bold information accordingly.
By switching the modes, visitors also can either display an overview of the protagonists’ lives, explore the most important cities of the epoch over time and who resided there or learn about the places where we commemorate Romanticism today.
The museum as a workshop
Visitors of the Romantik-Museum should not only consume information but also experience the content hands-on. Therefore, we developed a number of media stations that require active involvement.
collective translation agency
Writing is an artform – and so is translating literature into other languages. Friedrich Schleiermacher was one of the first translators. Visitors have the opportunity to play with their linguistic talent at the Schleiermacher exhibit.
Johann Wilhelm Ritter carried out pioneering experiments in the field of electricity by using his own body as a measuring device for sometimes life-threatening electrical currents. In the Deutsche Romantik Museum, these experiments are retold in a completely harmless way: When the visitors grasp two metal handles with their hands, a circuit is closed, which starts Ritter's reports on his self-experiments. Here, too, a current flows through the visitors' bodies, but it only starts a reading of Ritter's test protocols on headphones. Various handles allow visitors to safely relive his dangerous experiments on his eyes, ears, stomach and other parts of the body.
Spatial media interventions
We developed a number of immersive installations that add entirely new communication formats to the exhibition parcours and blend in with the architecture.
The invention of horror fiction
Five friends and writers come together at Villa Diodati, an estate at Lake Geneva. Because of poor weather, in June 1816 the group famously spent three days together inside the house creating stories to tell each other, two of which were developed into landmark works: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Vampyre by Polidori. Numerous movies have picked up on the novels, but also on the history of their origin.
We developed the visual concept and took care of video editing, production and integration as well as of sound design. Out team also installed a motion sensor so that visitors automatically trigger the smooth switch from idle-mode to the actual show.
Fine art and complex forms
Philipp Otto Runge created a famous cycle of arabesques exploring “The Times of the Day”. At the museum, this work of art is interpreted by setting it in motion on a sculptural canvas.
Curious about our approach? Feel free to get in touch!Sebastian Oschatz Partner +49 69 24 000 321 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org +49 69 24 000 321
MESO Digital Interiors GmbH
Gutleutstr. 96 . 60329 Frankfurt . Germany
Davide Becker, Bettina Braun, Theron Burger, Alessia Corsini, Merlin Flügel, Susanne Heinlein, Martin Jerulank, Nicholas Konrad, Sebastian Kujas, Daniel Maaz, Nikos Mechanezidis, Paula Müller, Daniel Neumayr, Anna Rack, Arnd Rath, Damian Richter, Henje Richter, Jonas Schreiber, Marcus Schreiter, Ben Schiek, Timon Skerutsch, Christian Struwe, Klaus Texter, Constantin Urban, Max Wolf, Mathias Wollin, Tobias Zimmer, Christian Zollinger