The 'LWL-Museum of Archaeology Herne' offers a comprehensive insight into the history of human beings. In terms of exhibition design, it is one of the most renowned Archaeology Museums in Europe. As part of a university project, I had the chance to create the concept and design of an interactive discovery game which contains a spatial and a digital component. It uses discoveries made in the village of Warburg, Germany to playfully convey the scientific methods of archaelogical research. Inside the room, you can find eight different stations, each dedicated to a specific artefact found in Warburg and the research method used to investigate it. The visual concept of this project leans onto the concept of archaeology itself: Fragments of the past being used to reconstruct history.

Project Scope
Room Concept & 3D Model
Tablet Application Concept
Visual Identity
station dedicated to 'Stratigraphy', the method of analyzing the sequence of rock and earth layers in order to deduce time scales
station dedicated to 'Prospection', the method of finding unusual soil patterns from above or under the grounds surface
Analysis of the current 'Forscherlabor' including positive aspects and potential improvements

The current design of the museum served as the starting point for this project. Each student in the seminar was given the task to select an aspect or section of the museum, analyze it and create a design that improves it. I chose the so-called “Forscherlabor”, a room that is designed like a research laboratory and aims to teach archaeological research methods to its visitors. Through my analysis of the “Forscherlabor”, I recognized its potential to be more interactive, engaging and accessible. To pursue this potential, I conceived a new concept for this room, which I named “Warburg Reconstructed”.

An initial possible improvement is the repositioning of the room. Currently, the room’s location is rather secluded and cuts into the middle of the main exhibition’s path in the yellow area. I decided to choose a location that is visible from the entrance and is also clearly separated from the main exhibition since it serves as its own self-contained experience.

To find an appropriate visual language for the room, I explored different approaches with sketches, some of which I included in the following segment. The final appearance of the tables and the room as a whole are inspired by a 'fragmented' aesthetic. It symbolizes the fact that the archaeological findings presented at the tables are a result of careful reconstruction of the past.

The exhibition room is accompanied by a digital game. The user can pick up a tablet at the entrance and follow its instructions to start. Each station corresponds to an archaeological finding hanging above an excavation site in the middle of the room. After unlocking a station by scanning the corresponding container's QR-Code, the user can learn about this artefact and the employed research methods. Then, the task presented at the station can be solved. By solving the tasks of every station, the game is completed.

Short text paragraph introduces the player to the game.
QR-codes must be scanned to 'unlock' the corresponding stations.
After scanning, key information about the artefact is displayed and the station is unlocked.
By 'unlocking', the corresponding station lights up, giving the player a signal on where to continue the game.
The player can now solve the task at hand with the provided content.
An input box corresponding to the unlocked station pops up in the tablet application.
The player inputs the solution via keyboard.
Fields containing solved stations are colored in orange, showing the game progress.
Once every station is solved, an overview of the collected findings brings the game to a conclusion.