Humboldt Forum Foundation Berlin

From a monastery to the Humboldt Forum

If at all, then in the right way. In Berlin, the Humboldt Forum, which opened in summer 2021 in the rebuilt City Palace, wants to set standards. Also in terms of inclusion. With a specially developed tactile book, sighted, visually impaired and blind people can now experience 700 years of Berlin history.

From the monastery to the palace, the parade ground and the Palace of the Republic – the place in the centre of Berlin has an eventful history. The powerful have built here, rebuilt, demolished and planned again and again. In the Humboldt Forum, this history can now be explored with the fingertips, the eyes or the ears.With a large tactile map, 14 tactile pictures and texts in large print and Braille, the past of the site becomes comprehensible on 64 pages. An audio version completes the book. The tactile books were developed in intensive focus group work with members of the Allgemeine Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverein Berlin gegr. 1874 e. V. and thus meet the needs of the target group.For example, the impressive dome of the palace can be traced with the fingers using tactile foils, and details on the façade can also be seen and felt.Audio descriptions of all the stations from the monastery to the palace complete the offer for visitors.Published by the Humboldt Forum Foundation in the Berlin Palace, the book can be purchased at the Humboldt Forum for 24,90 €.

A Glance at the Book

Studio shot of the closed tactile book "Vom Kloster zum Humboldt Forum" on a white background. The focus of the image is on the title of the book written in bold capitals. These were depicted in bright neon yellow and are printed on the cover's dark grey background.
Another studio shot of the tactile book with focus on the spine. This is particularly striking because of its bright, neon-yellow colouring. The black lettering on the spine is also in transparent braille.
A close-up of the book cover. Here the focus is on the transparent braille, which looks like sparkling drops of water due to the incident light.
Left: A person reading braille on a text page of the tactile book. Right: Close-up of typographic details of a text page with blackletter and transparent braille.
Shown is a section of the open tactile book. The focus of the picture is on the tab system, which divides the book into different chapters. In addition to the printed title of each chapter, the small graphics, which are reminiscent of icons, help with orientation.
A view into the book. You can see the graphically implemented site plan with transparent, tactile lines. The corresponding fold-out legend extends over the left part of the image
A person reading the tactile map just shown with the legend unfolded.

Tactile foils

A close-up of the graphically realised illustration of the imperial palace. Above each of the detailed illustrations, the motif is transposed in the form of a vacuum formed sheet This means that all the motifs in the book can also be experienced tactilely.
The photo shows the transparent deep-drawn tactile foil of the imperial palace on a dark background. Even the smallest details of the building's façade can be felt.
The photo shows the transparent deep-drawn tactile foil of the Kolster Church.

Detail pages

The photo shows a person opening the chapter Fabulous Creatures in the tactile book.
Left: Close-up of the transparent tactile film with image of the keystone from the Dominican monastery. Petals arranged in a circle can be seen on the brick. Right: Tactile image of the male mythical creature that decorated the central balcony of the Electoral Palace.

Project details

Project Scope: Moderation of focus group workshops, creation and production of the tactile book with six tactile foils and eight tactile detail illustrations, Graphic design and layout, Conceptualization and digitization of tactile images, production support

All graphics of the architecture illustrations in the tactile book summarised in one gif
Photo of a male mythical creature that decorated the central balcony of the Electoral Palace. It is a figure of man, animal and plant. Horns grow on the head, a beard protrudes from the face, the back has wings, and the lower part of the body ends in a curled tail with leaves at the end.
You can see several pages of the finished tactile book, loosely spread out on a table. The picture was taken during the bookbinding process.
Picture of a groping at one of the focus group meetings with threshold prints
Photo of several participants at one of the focus group meetings. The tactile elements of the tactile book were tested with the help of swell paper
One person tests one of the swell paper prints of the tactile map during a focus group meeting
Recording of several participants at one of the focus group meetings.
Recording of several participants at one of the focus group meetings.
Illustration of several conceptual designs during the realisation of the tactile book. Drawings of the graphic imperial castle and swell prints of the motif "sailboat" can be seen.
Further illustration of a tactile foil with associated graphic
Makin-of shot from the inkl design office. Two staff members are photographing the touch book. Professional lighting with spotlights and ring lights is set up in the room.
Illustration of the concept phase for the keystone motif. The process from the photographic image of the object via a drawing to the variant with tactile lines can be seen.
Detail of the keystone from the Dominican monastery on a red background. Petals arranged in a circle can be seen on the brick.