How can we use new digital media technologies to pass on knowledge? The Mediendom Kiel shows us how: it takes visitors into a virtual reality, gives children and adults alike a sensory learning experience and insights into scientific contexts.
But Kiel also boasts many other examples of successful science communication using innovative media technology – much of which is award winning.
Researchers from Kiel University (CAU), the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design and the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) work in the laboratories and knowledge centres of tomorrow, and develop solutions for all kinds of areas.
The Mediendom Kiel lets visitors to its theatre dome dive into new worlds – and presents its current lab research extremely effectively: by using multi-media 3D virtual reality effects with 360° projections.
Productions from Kiel have been translated into 15 languages, shown in over 100 media domes across the globe and received international prizes.
The Mediendom is a facility of the Zentrum für Kultur- und Wissenschaftskommunikation (ZKW, Centre for Cultural and Science Communication) at Kiel University of Applied Sciences.
The Zentrum für Kultur- und Wissenschaftskommunikation (ZKW, Centre for Cultural and Science Communication) has taken on the task of carrying out application-oriented investigation into immersive media. Immersion describes the principle of blurring the borders between reality and the virtual world, between man and medium.
The ZKW works closely together with the Media Department at Kiel University of Applied Sciences. This department has also developed research focus areas in this field and combined these in the Institut für immersive Medien (ifm, Institute for Immersive Media).
Media technologies for the future
The Institut für immersive Medien (ifm, Institute for Immersive Media) is dedicated to researching innovative media technologies. The central location for this is the Interdisziplinäre Labor für Immersionsforschung (LINK, Interdisciplinary Lab for Immersion Research). It is one of the best equipped VR/AR labs at a German university.
In addition to developing augmented and virtual reality experiences, the transfer into the economy also plays a role. A look at the example projects provides an idea of the breadth of applications.
Students and lecturers from the Media Department and the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department work together at the LINK. The goal of the activities at the ifm and the LINK includes observing and analysing current media trends. Changes in use, reception and impact of the media is of particular interest.
The Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design also supports science in transferring research findings to a broad audience. The work by the Centre for Media, an interdisciplinary institution of the Muthesius University, resulted in the formation of a research focus area, science visualization.
A special feature of this is the Muthesius University’s involvement in Kiel's Clusters of Excellence. For example, it developed a visual language and communication form for the medical research network “Inflammation at Interfaces” for the Cluster “Future Ocean”, which resulted in the production of the Next Generation Interactive Scientific Poster, an interactive touchscreen. This received the Red Dot Design Award “Best of the Best” in 2014.
The company founded by the poster developers, Science Communication Lab – abbreviated to SCICOMLAB – then received two more prizes for this successful novel feature: the German Design Award 2016 and the Kiel Innovation Prize 2017.
Media learning environments for school pupils
Pushing research more strongly into public focus is also a goal of the Kiel Science Outreach Campus (KiSOC). KiSOC wants to show how scientific findings can be transferred in a contemporary and easy-to-understand way and in doing so, interest more young talents in studying the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The IPN is working on this project – which is being funded by the Leibniz Association – together with Kiel University of Applied Sciences (Mediendom) and 13 additional partners from six countries.
Header photo: Jürgen Haacks / Uni Kiel
Photos top: Mediendom / Fachhochschule Kiel ; Exzellenzcluster „Ozean der Zukunft“
Photos bottom: Mediendom / Fachhochschule Kiel ; Mediendom / Fachhochschule Kiel ; Exzellenzcluster „Ozean der Zukunft“; Exzellenzcluster „Ozean der Zukunft“