Schöneberg Nature Park: an inclusive outdoor mediation trail

This 18-hectare park in the southwest of Berlin, reclaimed from industrial wasteland, is now marked by an accessible mediation trail.

Tactile Studio was in charge of the design and production of a dozen tactile panels dedicated to the diversity of species living in this urban space.

Nature in the city at your fingertips

The project was commissioned by SenUVK (the Berlin Senate for the Environment, Sustainable Transport and Climate Protection).

It comprised three inclusive orientation panels, installed at the park entrance and at the level of the outside exhibition spaces

The first two orientation plans highlight tactile representations of buildings from the railway era preserved in the park (such as the imposing water tower or an old locomotive). The third panel was designed to describe the artistic garden, the “Giardino Segreto”, and its metal sculptures with 3-D reproductions of the elements in situ.

Tactile orientation map for all audiences, located at the entrance to the Berlin-Schöneberg Nature Park - © Grün Berlin / Frank Sperling
Tactile orientation map for all audiences, located at the entrance to the Berlin-Schöneberg Nature Park - © Grün Berlin / Frank Sperling
Visitors discover the park's fauna and flora through touch - © Grün Berlin / Frank Sperling
Visitors discover the park's fauna and flora through touch - © Grün Berlin / Frank Sperling

Now visitors can discover the park’s flora and fauna with the help of nine tactile panels designed by Tactile Studio. Relevant and original information, like the life-cycle of a bee or the chirping of a cricket, is detailed thanks to Corian® objects and to explanatory tactile drawings.

The tactile panels are designed in weather-resistant aluminium.

A collaborative project focused on accessibility

The design of this lovely project was carried out in partnership with the park’s teams, four members of DBSVthe organisation for visually impaired people – and an accessibility consultant.

Trial sessions then took place in May 2020, complying strictly with all hygiene requirements, with a panel of five visually impaired volunteers with varying levels of touch expertise.

Trail session organized by Tactile Studio in the presence of visually impaired people - © Tactile Studio
Trail session organized by Tactile Studio in the presence of visually impaired people - © Tactile Studio
Tactile station presenting the animals present in this famous park, modeled in 3D - © Tactile Studio- © Tactile Studio
Tactile station presenting the animals present in this famous park, modeled in 3D - © Tactile Studio

The sources for the 3-D models of animals featured on the tactile panels were furnished by the Natural History Museum of Berlin from its collection.

It’s a nice example of collaborative work to improve mediation and accessibility in a space for exploring nature, even during the pandemic. This open-air cultural space remains open to all in this period of cultural deprivation.

Client: SenUVK & Grün Berlin GmbH
Partner: WAM

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