The Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum has set itself the goal of actively shaping the digital transformation and integrating it into all of the museum’s core tasks. Since its foundation in 1925, the museum has followed the guiding principle of making good design accessible to all. Whereas at that time design objects were shown regardless of price and origin, today the world’s oldest design museum has made it its task to create barrier-free information and mediation services for the exhibition objects.
The Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum has set itself the goal of making design a digital and analogue experience for everyone. In doing so, several senses are to be addressed and design is to be explored as independently as possible. In this way, digitality and inclusion are equally understood as a social task and sustainably considered in all tasks that arise. The museum in the Pinakothek der Moderne is intended to be a place of exchange and learning about design history and new design developments where all people are welcome. This is how Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum shapes the future and remains true to its mission statement.
The digital and the analogue space
The digital makes it possible for the museum to be present beyond the analogue space, to convey knowledge worth knowing in new ways and to flexibly adapt the content to current situations. In this context, the analogue and digital are to be understood as independent areas that can mutually enrich each other. The digital offerings of Die Neue Sammlung can in no way replace on-site visits, but they do create new ways to the collection objects and exhibitions. They offer individual and inclusive ways of exploring, presenting, narrating and communicating design.
Information can be preserved beyond the exhibitions, used flexibly for research and adapted at any time according to current scientific standards. In the exhibition space, the content is not only accessible on the respective original, but the design objects are to be experienced through further interactive and participatory offers. In this way, the digital and analogue levels of mediation complement each other and can be used by everyone individually according to their needs. Therefore, Die Neue Sammlung can be explored independently in the future and takes on a pioneering role in the field of digital and barrier-free cultural mediation.
Already existing offers
In order to make good design accessible to everyone, various mediation offers must be made available. The following measures have already been realized:
- Wifi access throughout the museum building
- Visual adaptation options of the website for people with visual impairments
- Information on the website in German sign language and easy-to-understand language
- Exhibition texts in easy-to-understand language and easy-to-read, also audible (accessible via QR codes on the exhibition walls)
- Object texts in easy-to-understand language and easy-to-read, also audible
- “Sound of Design”-App
- App for the X-D-E-P-O-T
- App for the Pinakothek der Moderne with audio guide
- Blog “Design+”
- Interviews, exhibition films and insights into the museum work on Youtube
- Online tours and online lectures
- Robot driving licence (for the exhibition “AI.Robotik.Design”, 16.07.2021 – 10.04.2023)
- conference series “FUTURE TALKS. The Conservation of the Modern” (since 2021 as a hybrid event)
- online research project “German Democtratic Plastics in design“
Currently under development and planned for the future
Die Neue Sammlung is continuously working on the expansion of its digital and barrier-free offerings.
Since the beginning of 2022, the museum works on the project “An inclusive Design Experience” that is supposed to offer information on selected collection objects in easy-to-understand language, as audio descriptions and videos in sign language. These are accessible online in September 2023. Furthermore, hands-on-stations where all visitors can experience the objects haptically and playfully will provide important access to the collection. The museum also plans the first inclusive design book.
A website relaunch is being realised as part of the project. The museum’s new website will be barrier-free and include a digital collection that will be continuously expanded. This will make it possible to access information on the objects in different language levels and for different target groups from everywhere. In addition, scientific research texts will be offered and the blog will be expanded.
Internal digitisation must go hand in hand
Parallel to the reorientation of its mediation and information services, Die Neue Sammlung is renewing the digital work tools. The focus is on equipping the staff with contemporary, collaborative work tools and programmes that facilitate collaboration and working from different locations. These are:
- New laptops and docking stations (October 2022) allow hybrid working in the office as well as at home or in the depot, exhibition spaces etc.
- Share systems and group work modules facilitate the collaboration.
- The conversion to Museum Plus (summer 2022) will enable all departments to carry out and link their object-related work in a common online tool. In addition, interfaces to standards databases and digital offerings are possible.
- The photo studio has unified and updated the standards of visual capture, image processing and long-term storage in 2021.
The continuous improvement of technical and digital equipment is important to Die Neue Sammlung.