From the letterpress to the MP3 – German inventions have changed the world. Germany ranks among the top three nations for high-tech patent applications. The Goethe Institute is carrying this message to the world and promoting research in Germany as well as local study and work opportunities with an exhibition that is now touring the globe. Also on board are its partners of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Max Planck Society.
krafthaus, the atelier of facts and fiction has taken over the task. As experienced travelling exhibition professionals – we are repeat offenders in the case of the Goethe Institute – we have developed a concept fit to the purpose. The exhibition is rich in content and visually appealing. It can simultaneously be stored and transported in smallest space and easily assembled by just two people. It is also designed to be flexible due to the varying sizes of the Goethe Institute’s different premises. Finally, the exhibtion needs to be very robust while touring the world over a period of two years – stopping off along the way in Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Dublin and Bodo in the north of Norway.
Our answer to the specifications is called GERMANY, LAND OF INVENTORS – FUTURE BUILDING BLOCKS, a special modular concept that can be implemented in different sized layouts. Hands-on modules dedicated to the subject areas of communication, optics, materials, medicine, computer science, energy and mobility illustrate a special aspect in a scientific but playful way. Additional information on functionality and the significance of the innovation and its inventors are provided by wall graphics and tablet PCs. Next to the interactive stations, there are also exciting texts and films about current research projects. Quotations from international graduates are used to draw attention to the German language, the Goethe Institute and the country’s diverse educational landscape. In their own words, they describe how studying in Germany has helped to advance their careers.
The subjects are familiar, but the formal implementation is surprising: It invites visitors to join and arouses their curiosity and the desire to create something new. Therefore we make use of building blocks, which everyone remembers from their childhood. Whether as miniature landscapers of a model railway or a bold pilot of model airplanes, it always comes down to synthesising a complete picture from an incredible array of smaller single pieces. Most of the pieces are embedded in plastic frames out of which they need to be broken.
GERMANY LAND OF INVENTORS – FUTURE BUILDING BLOCKS also consists of oversized injection-moulded model construction kits. German inventions are embedded in the plastic frames, as if you could break them out and put them back together to form your very own image of Germany. It is precisely the completely heterogeneous scale of things – from a car to a semiconductor element – that gives it its special appeal. Each moulded frame has its own colour, which stands for a specific subject area; the sidewalls offer interactive activities or carry graphic elements. The supporting elements and the objects are covered with coloured, soft-touch plastic making them realistic to the touch. Germany, Land of Inventors thus becomes tangible to everyone.