Museum of City History Leipzig

Bling Bling at Luthers

In 2017, in the Luther Year, the Museum of Leipzig’s History in the Old Town Hall redesigned its exhibition and supplemented the collection with a focus on Luther in Leipzig. One room in the imposing building became the Luther Room. We “inkl. Designers” reformed it into a model of inclusion.

Reformer women are like footballer women. They love jewellery. The centre and showpiece of the entire exhibition is therefore the Ring of Catherine of Bora, which served as the ring for the couple at their wedding in June 1525. In the original, the ring with the ruby measures just under two centimetres in diameter. We thought: bigger is better. Even people who can see well now have a chance to see all the motifs that an unknown artist subsequently placed on the ring.

Jesus on the cross, three cubes with which the soldiers rolled around the crucified man’s clothes. Nails, ropes, lance and the staff with cloths soaked in vinegar to refresh Jesus. All the Passion tools associated with the suffering and death of Christ are hardly recognizable in miniature. On the tactile model at 15x magnification, however, the artistic decoration becomes visible and palpable.

Below the model there is also a rotating plate on which all 13 elements can be individually recognized and felt. Detailed explanations can be heard via the museum’s audio guides.

A palpable painting, which shows Martin Luther from the perspective of Lucas Cranach the Older, rounds off the offer. The tactile painting is located on a swivelling desk so that it is easily accessible for wheelchair users and their companions. The fat chin, the massive figure, the folds that Luther’s robe throws are easy to feel and bring the picture to life under your fingers.

Projects like these make the obvious even more visible: design that considers all users is an enrichment – for everyone.

Photo of the tactile painting "Martin Luther" by Lucas Cranach the Younger being felt by one hand
Photo in the exhibition room with view of the touch station
Photo of the richly decorated gold wedding ring of Luther's wife Katharina von Bora
Photo of a standing blind woman feeling the Luther painting integrated into the touch station
Photo of the exhibition room "Luther in Dispute" in the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig with various showcases and exhibits
Photo with our employee Mia setting up the touch station in the Leipzig City Museum
Photo of enlarged reproductions of ornaments of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora and a colour fan for testing the colour quality
Photo of the Old Town Hall in Leipzig, which houses the Museum of City History
Photo of our employees Franziska and Mia assembling the full-size functional model of the touch station out of cardboard
Photo with a view of sketch sheets and a screen with digitised designs for the implementation of the wedding ring as button elements
Photo of enlarged replicas of ornaments of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora as components of the tactile model
Photo of the complete tactile model of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora, enlarged fourteen times compared to the original.
Photo of a blind woman as a test person checking the complete touch station
Photo of enlarged replicas of ornaments of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora as components of the tactile model
Photo of a functional sketch of the touch station to illustrate its underride capability

A Glance at the Tactile Display

Photo of the tactile model, consisting of a Luther portrait, enlarged replica of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora and information boards with Braille and profile lettering on a wooden table that can be driven underneath.
Hören Sie hier den Einführungstext zur Taststation und dem Ausstellungsraum

Photo of the tactile model, consisting of a Luther portrait, enlarged replica of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora and information boards with Braille and profile lettering on a wooden table that can be driven underneath.

Renderings

Graphic of the complete tactile model with the Luther portrait, the enlarged wedding ring of Katharina von Bora, its decorations as individual elements as well as information boards in Braille and profile lettering
Detailed graphic of a rotating disc with palpable decorations of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora
Graphic of the complete tactile model with Luther portrait, enlarged wedding ring of Katharina von Bora, its decorations as single elements as well as information boards in Braille and profile lettering

Inclusion in Detail

Photo with view on the tactile model wedding ring of Katharina von Bora and the exhibition room
Detail photo of a section of the tactile model with Braille lettering and profile lettering. Detail photo of a section of the tactile model with inscription " Touch required".
Detail photo of the tactile model with rotating disc on which the decorations of the wedding ring are applied as tactile elements.
Detail photo of the tactile station with the rotating Luther painting on a plate with inscriptions in Braille and profile lettering
Detail photo of the tactile head as part of the Luther tactile painting
Detail photo of the Luther touch painting with depiction of tactile elements such as the open Bible, his hands and a Latin saying
Detail photo of the Luther tactile painting, on which a hand feels the structure of the Luther head

Tactile Display in Use

Photo of a sitting blind woman at the tactile model of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora
Left: Photo of a standing blind woman palpating the tactile model of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora. Right: Detail photo of two hands palpating the Braille of the tactile station.
Detail photo of a sitting blind woman feeling the enlarged embellishments of the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora
Detail photo of hands palpating the enlarged replica of the ruby at the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora

Project Details

Project Scope: Didactic concept for conveying the exhibition contents to blind and visually challenged people, conception and implementation of the tactile station including product design, 3D data creation, graphic design, creation of extensive audio description texts for image description suitable for blind and visually challenged people, production of audio files, production support and monitoring