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Experience-based digital access to museum research

WorkgroupMultimodal Interaction
FundingIWM budget resources
Project description

This dissertation project investigates the use of immersive virtual reality (IVR) as a medium of experience-based learning in museums. Two IVR-applications will be developed and integrated into several exhibitions, in cooperation with the Natural History Museum Stuttgart. The goal is to give visitors an understanding of the importance of biodiversity and its protection. Furthermore, the project will provide new insights into the use of IVR as tools of science communication in museums.

Although biodiversity conservation is already established as a socially relevant topic, there are still many species that are overlooked or unappreciated. A recent temporary exhibition of the Natural History Museum introduced visitors to the biodiversity of wasps in Germany and highlighted these inconspicuous insects with the help of the two IVR applications of the IWM.
In the “virtual wasp”, visitors can meet two newly discovered wasp species eye-to-eye, even though they only measure a few millimeters in real life, while the “virtual collection” showcases the size of the museum’s scientific collection. Both applications mainly aim to provide visitors with unique experiences above teaching hard facts and are meant to facilitate a new perspective on insects to motivate visitors to engage in biodiversity protection.
Museums use different ways to communicate their contents. Besides more established types of media (e.g., audio, video), in recent years, virtual reality has found its way into more and more exhibitions. Therefore, this project also aims to investigate what role VR applications can play in museums and how they are best applied to have a lasting effect on visitors.

  • Prof. Dr. Lars Krogmann (Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History) 

  • Marina Moser (Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History)