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MaX - Museums at public access and participation

Max is a culture, innovation and research project supported by the European Commission. It aims at collaboration between cultural activists, institutions and the citizens of the European Union. MaX integrates interactive media technologies, which enable a direct participation of visitors and citizens in cultural processes. It is essential to let our citizens participate in the discovery of our cultural roots to support an intercultural exchange, to grow a common identity and share in transcultural activities. The technology will take a back seat and initiate a process where emotional and cognitive knowledge, communication and creativity will be linked together:

  • Display of common European history and local history
  • Participation of citizens in cultural processes, e.g. creation of exhibitions,  communication
  • Exchange and intercultural dialogue between cultural activists, institutions and European citizens
  • Cross linking of historical facts
  • Display of parallels in the history of industrialization beyond boundaries
  • Discovery of common cultural roots


„European Corner“ in MaX

In each museum a so called European Corner is installed: Via a multi touch screen visitors are able to exchange information, photos, videos and experiences. Exhibitions and data bases are shared virtually. The multi touch screen and the menu navigation facilitate the access to the data content so that learning becomes a playful and intuitive process among European museum visitors.


  • New media as a cultural infrastructure in the museum
  • Exchange of work results
  • Exchange of the museums common aspects of history and presence
  • Regional aspects of the European early textile and industry culture can get explored
  • Exchange of virtual exhibitions
  • Cultural use of new media in the knowledge society
  • Creation of sustainable tools that can be used long over the project duration
  • Link between early industrial culture, textile culture and actual culture
  • Support of view on the common history and growing of European identity



Every museum arranges its own typical participation project that allows the visitors to explore the local history, to create contents of exhibitions or to give comments. Every museum transfers a selection of their project results into exchange over the European Corner.


  • Oral history
  • Local (cultural) archeology
  • Interactive “leap in time“
  • Real time communication with museum visitors among Europe
  • Visitors participation
  • Participation projects
  • Integration of visitors in the museums information building process

Partners in MaX:

  • M2C Institute for Applied Media Technology and Culture, Bremen , Germany
  • University of Applied Sciences, IIA Institute, Bremen, Germany
  • Vereniging voor Industriële Archeologie en Textiel / MIAT Museum, Gent, Belgium
  • LWL Industriemuseum Textilmuseum, Bocholt, Germany
  • North west German Museum for Industrial Heritage Nordwolle, Delmenhorst, Germany
  • The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen , Denmark
  • National Polytechnic Museum, Sofia, Bulgaria


Max integrates different social groups

Max is an interactive permanent installation in the museum. Furthermore it is an intelligent instrument to start up processes for acquiring knowledge and playful learning. New historical aspects are linked with real sites and depicted in oral history. There is a European corner in every participating museum. It is a cultural port for visualization of the European dimension and the integration of artists, cultural activists, cultural volunteers and citizens into the museums activities:


  • European museums exchange
  • Visitors exchange over the European Corner
  • Communication between different part of the populations of the participating countries
  • European Corner as point of exchange between visitors/citizens and museums professionals
  • Support the cultural exchange and intercultural dialogue
  • Cultural professionals workshops
  • Integration of of local partners
  • Collaboration between cultural activists, cultural institutions and European citizens
  • Support of European mobility of cultural activists
  • Integration of local media into the project work
  • The Art Line Project, co-funded by the South Baltic Programme of the EU Regional Development Fund
  • artMuse, co-funded by the Culture Programme of the EU
  • Think BETA, co-funded by the BMBF Germany
  • NYC-Bremen in Beta R&D project, co-funded by DFG Germany
  • Rememberti Art Project Bremen
  • Cooperation with and between international and local artists
  • International Conference Participation e.g. EXPO2010 und ISEA2011

Project presentation

By the use of the European Corner, visitors and guests will not only be enabled to achieve insight into the work of the museum beyond the current exhibitions, but also in other partner museums in Europe and their subjects. The European dimension of common history, the synchrony of historical developments, their similarities and specific differences are directly experienced in the European Corner. The video guest book, part of the multiple touch screen allows the visitors to explore the European industrial heritage and culture just as to interview contemporary witnesses and visitors exchange. Visitors can browse the European history of the textile industry and culture on several multi-touch screens, see eyewitness interviews and interact with visitors of the other museums through the video guestbook.

Such activities in MaX range from participatory design and manufacture of so-called "smart textiles" or residents of a nursing home in the neighborhood of the museum in Gent to the historic cladding party with photos of children, adolescents and their families in original clothes at the original sites at the Nordwolle in Delmenhorst.
The inter-and trans-cultural exchange between the different places through the European Corner is a widespread motivation to participate. The system of the European Corner is not only designed to publish every museum exhibition but also to add existing exhibitions of their own. Thus, the museum Nordwolle Delmenhorst presented an exhibition on migration as a participation project developed with citizen participation and presented their results - both as an exhibition in the museum as well as a virtual exhibition in the European Corner. This exhibition in the European Corner can now be added to other European museums, galleries, where they supplement materials on migration from their perspective and from the local context of their museum.

MAX went on the following requirements: New technologies in the museum and associated user culture allow not only new ways of communication and mediation; they also demand new teaching concepts. An increasing number of visitors brings along behaviors and expectations that has been shaped by social and interactive media. The younger the visitors, the more this applies.
The visitors are expecting media-based agency offers and more interactions and exchanges with peers and expect and they will also see that their interests been taken seriously, so that the experts monologue becomes less important.

Increasingly the visitors expect from museums a special experience and a close personal encounter with history, art and other people. If a visit to a museum can offer this experience it will increase the chance that visitors identify themselves with the museum and the offered content and a longer-term retention is achieved. A visitor orientation taken seriously will affect all departments of a museum and the number of innovative approaches in this field will increase further in the coming years.
The European Corner is also a tool to link the work of museums all over Europe, to exchange knowledge and thus learn from each other. By the insight into the work of other museums, the museum staff can offer suggestions for their future projects and thus provide a forum for professionals. After the introductory phase of the MaX project with four museums involved, the European Corner will be ready to be provided to other museums throughout Europe from summer 2011 on.

The European Corner - interactive communication platform

The European Corner identifies the system that is going along with the participating projects of the museums and realizes the intentions of the MaX project.  The central terminal of the European Corner, which is installed in all participating museums, consists of three independent ongoing touch screens and their visual arrangement resembles a classic triptych (Kurzweg, 2012).
Placed in the middle of the main screen the central terminal shows categorically and thematically ordered contributions in the form of virtual galleries, which were published by the curators.
These contributions may be presented as text, images or videos. The two side screens show a video guest book and a video channel. The video channel is used as a video portal and contains video galleries, consisting of videos uploaded by other curators. The videos you see that may be, for example, interviews, historic photographs or articles about the museum itself, can be selected by a filter function by subject, language and museum.
The other side of the screen contains the video guestbook. The video guest book offers museum visitors the opportunity to make comments, impressions and questions in the form of a video that is recorded by using the built-in microphone and camera to display, publish, and to consider contributions from other visitors. Here the visitor can select the video displayed by applying a museum and language filter.

Third Party Cooperation:

•    University Ghent
•    New University of Bulgaria
•    Hochschule für Künste Bremen
•    Sint-Lodewijks-College in Lokeren
•    OCMW Gent
•    Altersheim Gent
•    Regialog Nordwestdeutschland Oldenburg/Emden
•    Musealog Nordwestdeutschland Oldenburg/Emden
•    Robert-Bosch-Stiftung Kulturmanager aus Osteuropa
•    FLEC Belgien
•    Museums Night Gent
•    Volkshochschule Delmenhorst
•    Think tank ThinkBETA
•    University of Gdansk
•    Galerie Hertz Bremen
•    Museen der Stadt Bitola
•    Universität Bitola
•    Creative Industries Bitola
•    Deutscher Museumsbund
•    Vereinigung Westfälischer Museen
•    Gesprächskreis Technikgeschichte
•    Stapferhaus Lenzburg
•    Art and Science EU-Project Gdansk
•    Museumskunde
•    EXPO2010 Shanghai
•    ECNU University Shanghai
•    Haus der Wissenschaft Bremen
•    Berufsverbands Museumspädagogik
•    Museumsverband Niedersachsen Bremen
•    DREAM, Syddansk Universitetsforlag
•    Ministry of education, youth and knowledge of Bulgaria
•    Magazine for history, archeology and memory, Sofia
•    Der Senator für Umwelt, Bau, Verkehr und Europa der freien Hansestadt Bremen
•    CCP Bulgaria
•    CCP Germany
•    “Wolleaner” Verein der ehemaligen Nordwolle ArbeiterInnen
•    Fachdienst Jugend der Stadt Delmenhorst

Scientific Publications, Conference Contributions:

•    Koplin, M. et al. (09.2011): "artMUSE goes MaX – how virtual exhibition technologies arises media art in Europe", ISEA2011 Konferenz, Sabanci University Istanbul
•    Koplin, Martin; Kurzweg, Claudia; Schober, Nadine; Eirund, Helmut (08.2011): „MaX - Museums at Public Access and Participation. Die Zukunft der Medialisierung und Vernetzung von europäischen Museen.“ In: Hrsg: Deutscher Museumsbund, Dr. Volker Rodekamp: Museumskunde. Band 76, Heft 1: Interdisziplinarität. S.64-70 Berlin, August 2011. ISSN 0027-4178
•    Koplin, M., Kurzweg, C. (07.2011): „Medienbasierte Partizipation im Museum“ in Konferenz: Häuser der Gegenwart und ihr partizipatorischer Ansatz, 2011 im Stapferhaus Lenzburg, CH
•    Koplin, M., Kurzweg, C. (05.2011): „Zukunft entwickeln – Museumsarbeit neu erfinden. Medialisierung, europäische Vernetzung und Partizipation durch den European Corner“,Jahrestagung Deutscher Museumsbund in Magdeburg und Bulletin - Deutscher Museumsbund e.V. Hrsg: Dr. Volker Rodekamp. S.7. ISSN 1438-0595
•    Koplin, M. (05.2011): "Zukunft erfinden - Arbeit entwickeln. Kompetenzbildung von der digitalen Interkultur zum virtuellen Team." SiB-Wirtschaftkongress Hochschule Bremen 2011 ISTM-Symposium
•    Kurzweg C. und Koplin, M. (05.2011): "Zukunft entwickeln – Museumsarbeit neu erfinden. Medialisierung, europäische Vernetzung und Partizipation durch den European Corner", Tagung des Deutschen Museumsbund vom 8. bis 11. Mai 2011 in Magdeburg
•    Koplin, M., Eirund, H. (05.2011): "Think BETA - The Participative Urban Sculpture", Art and Science Conference Gdansk 2011
•    Koplin, M., Eirund, H, Stenkamp, H.J., Schober, N., Kurzweg, C. (05.2011) "MaX - Museums at Public Access and Participation. Die Zukunft der Medialisierung und Vernetzung von europäischen Museen", in: Museum und Interdisziplinarität, Museumskunde, Band 76 Heft 1, G + H Verlag Berlin, ISSN 0027-4178
•    Koplin, M., Eirund, H. (01.2011): "Think BETA - Evolution of Smart Cities". International Think Tank Workshop. Hochschule Bremen.
•    Eirund, H. , Koplin, M. (12.2010): "BETAVILLE und MaX", EXPO2010 Shanghai "live" Symposium im Haus der Wissenschaften Bremen
•    Eirund, H. , Koplin, M. (11.2010): "BETAVILLE, Think BETA", koopstadt-Workshop: Technologiestandorte als Transformationsmotoren und Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft im Themenfeld Ökonomische Innovation und kreative Milieus im Haus der Wissenschaft Bremen
•    Koplin, M. (09.2010): "MaX - Future Culture City Systems", Bremen Science Forum, EXPO2010 Shanghai, China
•    Koplin, M., Eirund, H., (04.2010): "Participation within the European Corner", EU MaX Workshop for Museumsmedia and Participation Hochschule Bremen 2010
•    Burdorf, Tina, Artikel in: Standbein Spielbein (Fachzeitschrift des Berufsverbands Museumspädagogik)  Heft 90, 5/2011
•    Tiedemann, Kirsten, European Corner, EU - Kulturprojekt zur Bürgerbeteiligung in    Museen fördert europäisches Bewusstsein, in: Mitteilungsblatt Museumsverband Niedersachsen Bremen 72/ 2011
•    Mikkel Thelle & Signe L. Littrup : Historier fra Maskinen (Stories from the Machine). In: Det Interaktive Museum (The Interactive Museum). DREAM, Syddansk Universitetsforlag.
•    „МаХ – Участие и достъп на публиката в музеите или Нови форми на гражданско участие – Модерната култура” (MaX - Museum at Access and Public Participation  or New ways of Civic Participation - The Modern Culture ), author  - Svetozara Kararadeva
•    The article is about the first workshop of the project in Bremen, Germany – 22-25 September, 2009. It describes the topics of discussion at this 1-st partners meeting of   the project and gives a general overview on the future activities. Newspaper “Tehnitarche” - № 4-5/ 2009, p.6, edition of National Polytechnic museum, Sofia
•    „Проект отваря широко вратите на музеите” (“ A project opens widely the doors of the museums”), author  - Svetozara Kararadeva  The article describes the aims and activities of the project, as also the use of new IT technologies at the museums. Newspaper “AZ-BUKI” № 2 /13-19.01.2010, p.11 – edition of the Ministry of education, youth and knowledge, Sofia, ISSN 0861-3990
•    МаХ – Участие и достъп на публиката в музеите (MaX - Museum at Access and Public Participation), author  - Svetozara Kararadeva The article is about the new ways of participation of the public in the museum activities and the project as a whole. Magazine “Buditel” January –February 2010, p.95-96 – a magazine for history, archeology and memory, Sofia, ISSN 1312-7829
•    МаХ – Участие и достъп на публиката в музеите (MaX - Museum at Access and Public Participation), author  - Svetozara Kararadeva The article is about the new ways of participation of the public in the museum activities and the purpose of the European corner. Newspaper “Tehnitarche” - № 1/ 2010, p.5, edition of National Polytechnic museum, Sofia
•    МаХ – Участие и достъп на публиката в музеите (MaX - Museum at Access and Public Participation), author  - Svetozara Kararadeva. It’s about the project as a whole, the subproject of the museum in Sofia –the textile installations.The article describes the use and characteristics of the ECorner. Magazine “Textile & Clothing” , № 2 /2011, p.56-57 – edition of the Science and technical union for textile, clothing and lathers, Sofia, ISSN 1310 -912 X
•    Проект МаХ –нови възможности за ефективна комуникация в музеите (Project   “MaX” – new possibilities for effective museum communication), author – Dr. Ekaterina Tsekova. Here, the author presents the concrete results: the content of the Bulgarian subproject, based on the theme “textile”, the presentation and public estimations of the five textile installations, connected with the human senses, as well as the “European corner”. The European corner is described as a computer system – highly effective for the museum communication.. Magazine “Buditel” № 3/2011, p. 47-51 – a magazine for history, archeology and memory, Sofia, ISSN 1312-7829
•    Stenkamp, H., Schober, N. et al (2.-4.7.2011) Jahreskonferenz Gesprächskreis Technikgeschichte
•    Stenkamp, H., Schober, N. et al (4.4.2011) Konferenz der Vereinigung Westfälischer Museen
•    Stenkamp, H., Schober, N. et al (July 2011) Journal Museumskunde No.1 2011: “    Interdisziplinarität”

Press articles, TV & Radio

•    Kontakt mit Museen Europas aufnehmen, Nordwolle-Museum leitet Projekt „MaX“, Kreisblatt am Sonntag 04.10.2009
•    Nordwolle macht bei europäischem Projekt mit, Delme-Kurier 11.05.2010
•    Museumstag: Erzählcaféund Fotoshooting, Delmenhorster Kurier 14.05.2010
•    Erzählcafé und Fotoshooting, Delme-Kurier 15.5.2010
•    Von der Uhr des Großvaters bis zu Omas Kochtopf, Delmenhorster Kreisblatt 15.05.2010
•    Foto-Reise in die Vergangenheit, Nordwest-Zeitung 15.05.2010
•    Lebendige Vergangenheit, Delme-Kurier 17.5.2010
•    Fabrikmuseum Mitinitiator bei europäischem Projekt, Delmenhorster Kreisblatt 17.05.2010
•    Einmal wie vor hundert Jahren aussehen, Nordwest Zeitung 17.05.2010
•    Museum erweitert Onlineauftritt, Nordwest Zeitung 11.03.2011
•    Museum vernetzt sich, Delme Report, 13.03.2011
•    Museum vernetzt sich, Weser Kurier, 13.3.2011
•    Digital durch Ausstellungen surfen, Industriemuseum Neue Attraktion: European Corner steht ab sofort zum Ausprobieren bereit, Nordwest Zeitung 16.03.2011
•    Museum startet Nordwolle 2.0, Delme Report, 16.03.2011
•    Austausch mit europäischen Museen auf der Nordwolle, Delmenhorster Kreisblatt 17.03.2011
•    Vernetzt mit Europa, Nordwolle-Museum stillt mit neuer Medieninstallation Wissenshunger, Delmenhorster Kurier, 17.3.2011
•    Programm rund ums Industrie-Museum auf der Nordwolle, Delmenhorster Kurier, 07.05.2011
•    Blick nach Gent und Sofia, Neue Ausstellung im Fabrikmuseum, Delmenhorster Kurier, 14.05.11
•    Neugierige auf der Nordwolle, Internationaler Museumstag informierte die Besucher umfassend / Vernetzungsprojekt vorgestellt, Delmenhorster Kurier, 16.05.201
•    Arbeit soll im Gedächtnis bleiben, Nordwolle-Museum stellt „Wollmäuse“ und Zugewanderte in den Mittelpunkt des Aktionstages, Delmenhorster Kreisblatt 16.05.2011
•    Publication sent for the e-bulletin of CCP- Bulgaria. Small presentation about the project MaX –general results: the national subproject of the museum – the 5 textile installations and the European Corner – functions, use and perspectives.
•    Virtuelle Museumsbesuche in Sofia und Kopenhagen, BBV Artikel, 16.12.10
•    Eine Europäische Ecke, BBV Artikel, 29.7.2011
•    European Corner, BBV-net TV, 29.7.2011


© M2C Institut für angewandte Medienforschung 2010