Talks at Conferences and Workshops


08.2016 | Schule für Gestaltung Bern.Biel | Teaching assignment 

How to Develop Interactive Exhibits

For the fourth year already I am teching the subject of how to develop interactive exhibits at the School for Design in Ber/Switzerland. The students major is commuications design and interaction design. That means, that moving from the screen into the three-dimensional space is pretty challenging. My focus is to teach them the basics of designing interactive exhibits. Yes, that means the history of Science Centers as well as the "Golden Rules of designing Interactive Exhibits". They learn about Frank Oppenheimer as well as the psychology behind interactions and even build their first prototypes right at the beginnig of teh course. We also use the chance of visiting the close by Technorama and follow the leraning-by doing concept. For the final exam the studensts are asked to develop a concept for an interactive exhibit in the brand or exhibition context. They hold a little presentation and build a cardboard prototype. The interest and engagement of the students is overwhelming and I hope that I can plant some seeds for an up-coming generation of exhibit designers that not only focus on screens but on hands-on interactions as well!   


06.2016 | Ecsite Annual Conference 2016 in Graz | Speaker at session with Ilse van Zeeland and Mikko Myllykoski

The Confession Session

Yes, I was ready to confess! The Confession Session startet with 18 colleagues who confessed mistakes they have made or worries they have. Valuable lessons could be learned from our mistakes, so we shared them to maximize the learning process.

Under the guidance of our two convenors, a 'confession box' was be passed around between the speakers who have already said 'yes' to 'confess'! Each confession will took 3 minutes, then the box was handed over to the next confessor. Confessors were seated throughout the audiences to enhance an open and sharing feeling. There was time for spontaneous confessions as well. 


05.2014 | Ecsite Annual Conference 2014 in The Hague | Speaker at session with Johannes-Geert Hagemann

Using museum collectables in interactives and hands-on exhibits

The session started with a series of very short presentations with case studies of hands-on exhibits or interactives that integrate (museum) collectables. In the second part of the session, speakers and participants formed small workshop groups to brainstorm ways to combine the use of museum collectables and interactives. Finally, the results of the workshop groups were presented and discussed with all participants. The session gave a good insight in different approaches and I had the honor to speak next to great collegues like Claire Pillsbury from the Exploratorium, Marieke Meijers from Museum Boerhaave, Geert-Jan van Rijn fom Museon and Kate Bartélémy from Universcience.    


04.2014 | Forum Ausstellungsgestaltung (Exhibition Design)  | Speaker at session about exhibition design

With all Senses | Chances and Challenges of Interactive Formats

For the founding event of the new swiss professional training "Swiss Interactive Media Designn" I was invited to talk about chances and challenges of interactive formats. Besides a short historical overview of media design I gave a critical reflection of the diffrent intercative formats and the "interactionalisation" as well as a short presentation of own projects. Target group was a wide range of professionals from throughout the Swiss media agency scene. 


01.2014 | Schule für Gestaltung Bern.Biel | Keynote speach at the founding event of "Swiss Interactive Media Design"

About Bees and Flowers

Even though I was in the critical finalisation phase of the bees exhibition at Karls Erlebnisdorf I enjoyed taking this little break to attend the first Forum Ausstellungsgestaltung and meet a lot of familiar and new collegues. The presentation was focussing on the unsual approach and timeframe of this 160 sqm exhibition, where I also wrote all texts for the first time. 


06.2013 | Ecsite Annual Conference 2013 in Gothenburg | Speaker at speed-geeking-session from Maarten Okkersen

Imaginative and innovative exhibitions
Imagination and Innnovation in Exhibitions will be an inspiring speedgeeking-session about innovation, imagination and creativity in exhibitions. Meet experienced designers, exhibition producers and creative directors in an intimate setting. Talk with professionals about the creative process of innovation, listen to their dreams, test your own ideas for content development and find out how these geeks approach innovative design. We have tried this new "speedgeeking" format last year and it worked. The basic idea is to have as many great presentations as possible but also to leave time for questions and discussion. The presentations will be quick and powerful and the presenters will try to go beyond "show and tell". This session is interesting for newcomers but also for more experienced professionals. (Session abstract from Maarten Okkersen)


06.2013 | Ecsite Annual Conference 2013 in Gothenburg | Speaker at reverse session from Dominique Botbol

In-house designer or outsourcing, how does it work?
Designers will share feedback about their experiences in the conception of an exhibition as either in-house or external exhibition designer: - In-house designers afford greater collaborative value, insofar as they are fully integrated into the content design teams. They know the institution’s constraints, being available for exchanges, and ready to rapidly reorient the imagination and open up new avenues of thought. - External designers bring with them a new perspective that can shake up automatisms of exhibition conception. They can shift the axis of creativity while fostering a rendering marked by a more sequential formalism. After each speaker delivers a short presentation on their experiences, participants will be invited to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of one and the other. (Session abstract from Dominique Botbol)


06.2013 | Ecsite Annual Conference 2013 in Gothenburg | Convenor for a panel session

Dreaming of the outdoors: interactive science exhibits in public areas.
Outdoor exhibits have the power to reach a wide range of audiences and provide a casual contact to people that are not even interested in or conscious of science in their daily life. With great power to engage, they also come with extraordinary challenges. The case studies will cover a range of opportunities and issues revolving the outdoor setting. What can outdoor exhibits provide that other exhibits can’t? How can communities be integrated and how does the audience respect or accept these exhibits? Can this become a new trend or is it just a fashionable idea for wealthy communities or clients? And for those who are thinking of ‘going outdoors’, what were the challenges faced by the designers when developing these exhibits and the forces of nature that they have to withstand.


12.2012 | 5. Forum for Science Communications in Dresden | Speaker at plenarsession

Interactive Exhibits in Science Communications
Interactive exhibits are getting more and more attention in Science Communications recently. Successful formats like the floating Science Center "MS Science", or the exhibition "Discoveries" on the island Mainau, are examples how even complex topics can be made accessible to a wide public. What are the advantages of this format and what should be considered when developing interactive exhibits? Do these exhibits necessarily need to be digital or can they be simple hands-on interactives as well? The presentation does not only show best practice examples that turn visitors into curious researchers as well as what gets them bored soon.


06.2012 | Ecsite Annual Conference 2012 in Toulouse | Speaker at speedgeeking session

Fiction, Fun & Failure: First Encounter
The wonderful and surprising things that happen, when new developed interactive exhibits have contact with real visitors for the first time. 


05.2012 | The Exploratorium in San Francisco | Speaker at Brown Bag presentation 

Interactive Exhibits from 1997-2012
Overview of design and development of my interactive exhibits in the last 15 years. 


06.2011 | Ecsite Annual Conference 2012 in Warsaw | Convenor for a Pecha Kucha style session

Dramaturgy in exhibition: help or hindrance?
Stories are a powerful tool but exhibitions with firm storylines influence visitors’ freedom to explore contents on their own. Or don’t they? In this Pecha Kucha session, a variety of arguments are put forward, in an attempt to answer questions such as:

> Can interactives and stories co-exist? Or do they risk contradiction? Do we even need dramaturgy to understand what we experience?
> Should science exhibitions suggest paths or simply let visitors create their own personal journey? Can we trust visitors to create the ‘correct’ journey? Is there a ‘correct’ journey?
> What do we know about visitor’s preferences and behaviour in exploring exhibitions? What motivates visitors to explore an exhibition? How can we help them achieve what they want? Is what they want to experience the same as what we want them to experience?
Both visitors’ and designers’ freedom are at stake here!


06.2011 | Ecsite Annual Conference 2012 in Warsaw | Presenter at Pecha Kucha session

Lost in translation?
Why exhibit designers should think sideways.


02.2009 | Interfacedesign at Polytechnique Potsdam | Presenter at Interface design class

Technical Communications in the Automobile Industry
How corporations communicate their complex technical topics on trade shows and engage visitors through interactive exhibits.


06.2007 | Showtech 2007 in Berlin | Presentation at Event Forum

Interactive Exhibits
What experience has to do with comprehension.


Image © Claudia Schleyer 2011