Wonderful Wad

Ecomare, Texel


Nature museum and seal sanctuary Ecomare wants to take its visitors on a surprising voyage of discovery through the Wadden Sea. The goal of the interactive exhibition Wonderful Wad (wad translates to mudflat), is to increase appreciation for this UNESCO world heritage site, so that visitors will want to protect it. It was important for visitors of all ages to be able to learn through play.


YIPP created various interactive components for the exhibition. An interactive floor pro-jection that uses position tracking becomes the centre piece of the space. Multiple in-formative touchscreen games provide information about the food seals and locals eat, versus the food guests to the Wadden Sea eat. Digital games are combined with valua-ble items from the collection. A panorama video on a rotating screen further immerses visitors in the water world.

What were the deliverables?

  • 9 interactive touchscreen games
  • 1 interactive panorama video
  • 1 interactive floor projection with position tracking

The experience

Visitors enter a space that presents the land, sky, and water in beautiful blended colours across the interactives. The centre of the space is filled with an interactive floor projec-tion, showing animals and nature scenes.

The first game that visitors encounter teaches them about feeding animals living around the mudflats. The food game asks visitors to pick the normal seal from the sea mammal category. Do they eat shellfish? No, the selected answer turns red. How about fish? The green colour affirms the correct answer.

The next challenge is local or guest: this digital game is somewhat reminiscent of a pin-ball machine. Visitors are shown boxes featuring animals that are real, valuable items from the collection. When they pull the lever, the lights flash randomly until they light up one of the animals. Is this a local, recurring guest, or wandering guest? The red or green light shows you whether you guessed right.

The panorama film shows a combination of real mudflat images mixed with black-and-white animal illustrations, experiencing something funny and surreal. The last part of the visit is the personality quiz, in which visitors are asked about their own habits. Depending on the answers, the sea level rises and falls. After a day full of surprises, visitors go home more appreciative of the Wadden Sea and a little more conscious about their own life-style.

Would you like to know more about Wonderful Wad or have a similar project in mind? Please get in touch with Wouter Verbiest (wouter.verbiest@yipp.nl).

Credits: Photography by Amy Kouwenhoven