The Staatliches Museum für Archäologie Chemnitz focuses on cultural accessibility

With the ambition to become « a museum for everyone », the Staatliches Museum für Archäologie Chemnitz (smac) commissioned Tactile Studio to adapt its facilities and open its collections to as many people as possible.

Now the museum presents a diversified space with multisensory stations, a new audio guide adapted to the needs of each visitor (a simplified audioguide, and an audio guide for blind and visually-impaired visitors) and visits in sign language.

Archaeology in tactile mode

The presentation of local archaeological discoveries is now complemented by a tactile discovery trail.

A set of ten mediation stations, designed and produced by Tactile Studio, traces the history of the first settlements, the evolution of villages and the gradual urbanisation of Chemnitz and the surrounding area.

A visitor discovers one of the smac's tactile stations - © Mark Frost
A visitor discovers one of the smac's tactile stations - © Mark Frost
The stations are composed of various artefacts, Braille and raised writing - © Mark Frost
The stations are composed of various artefacts, Braille and raised writing - © Mark Frost

Tactile Studio also designed and produced four orientation maps installed at the entrance to the exhibition and on each floor of the museum, Braille cards with raised writing and panels introducing numerous artefacts.

Stimulating the senses and the mind

Along the itinerary several original experiences are offered to visitors, to stimulate their senses.

In particular, Tactile Studio has developed an immersive experience for the sense of smell, with an olfactory station that diffuses three strong smells from the Middle Ages: burnt wood, spices and, most surprisingly, the smell of latrines. These powerful smells allow visitors to immerse themselves in the lives of the inhabitants of medieval towns, and complement the audio devices.

This olfactory station allows visitors to discover three strong smells from the Middle Ages - © Mark Frost
This olfactory station allows visitors to discover three strong smells from the Middle Ages - © Mark Frost
Thanks to a playful device, visitors can touch and weigh a chainmail - © Mark Frost
Thanks to a playful device, visitors can touch and weigh a chainmail - © Mark Frost

To complement the immersive experience, the museum asks visitors, whether children or adults, to put themselves for a few moments in the shoes of a knight from the Middle Ages who is preparing for battle. Visitors can touch and try to lift a chainmail vest of around 15 kg and get a better idea of the weight of this armour.

 

There is no doubt that this experience makes a more lasting impression on the mind than reading a caption on a glass case.

The city of Chemnitz, in Germany, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2025. The objective of this title is to showcase positive cultural initiatives and to promote cultural diversity.

Client: Staatliches Museum für Archäologie Chemnitz (smac)
Partner: WAM

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