Invisible Worlds


The Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany, offers visitors a wide range of subjects. From archaeology on the Rhine and Neckar to ancient Egyptian art and culture. This experience museum touches on nature, space, body, and mind. The request for the exhibition "Invisible Worlds" was: how do we make the invisible visible? Several topics were pre-determined for various exhibitions. Design agency NorthernLight and the museum itself created concepts for the necessary interactives. We then set to work on further developing, prototyping, and finally producing the interactives.


We developed each exhibit in collaboration with the museum. They determined the topics and we were given the space to provide our input on the interactions and game design. We developed game concepts, developed different designs, and started testing several prototypes. We then incorporated user feedback to improve and complete the interactives.
In total a variety of 12 interactives was produced, including multiple games, stop motion video, projection mapping and a special mixed reality X-ray scanner.

The experience

At Invisible Worlds, visitors enter a large space featuring eight pavilions: small, round rooms with different themes. The themes are "Genesis”, “The Origin of Species”, “New Wave”, “Mama”, “CSI”, “Our Planet”, “A Bedtime Story”, and "The Cosmic Theater". Each pavilion features at least 1 interactive exhibition by YIPP that helps to discover “the invisible world”. At the Bat Trail, part of “The Origin of Species”, visitors sit on a chair and shoot noises. Turning the chair directs the sound in different directions. This allows you to find moths much like a bat uses ultrasound to find moths (and the way in the dark). In "A Bedtime Story" you enter a dream world. A camera films you and projects you onto a large screen with dream images. This shows you flying through all kinds of fantastic dreams while the world moves with you. You experience the entire museum by playing games and interacting. For example, you can make your own stop-motion video, learn the difference between an X-ray and an MRI scan by scanning your own hand, and you can even play with DNA! See for yourself what effect DNA modifications have on animals and design your own rabbit in “Genesis”.

Do you want to know more about Invisible Worlds or can we help you with a similar project? Please contact Wouter van der Zouwe (wouter.vanderzouwe@yipp.nl).

Photography by REM/Maria Schumann and NorthernLight.