Category G02. Spatial Tech
Idea Creation DEMODERN Hamburg, GERMANY
Production DEMODERN Hamburg, GERMANY
Name Company Position
Alexander El-Meligi Demodern GmbH Managing Partner & Creative Director
Florian Gläser Demodern GmbH Creative Director
Hannah Johnson Demodern Director Interactive Storytelling
Gion Tummers Demodern User Experience Director
Tara Weston Demodern GmbH User Experience Designer
Michael Schmück Demodern GmbH User Experience Designer
Fynn Hopp Demodern GmbH Designer
Robin Janitz Demodern GmbH Designer
Jonas Mai Demodern GmbH Designer
Daniel Harrison Demodern GmbH 3D Artist
Bastian Hantsch Demodern GmbH 3D Artist
Mirko Wiedmer Demodern GmbH 3D Artist
Pia Heugel Demodern GmbH 3D Artist
Antje Dittrich fischerAppelt, advisors Strategic Consultant
Sandra Tölle Demodern GmbH Digital Producer
Julia Wübbe Demodern GmbH Digital Producer
Tobias Soffner Demodern GmbH Executive Producer


As we all know, digitalisation is giving traditional print media quite a bashing. DuMont Media Group, Germany’s largest publishing house - long famous for printed travel guides and newspapers - knew they had to shake things up a bit. After a design thinking process, it was decided to create a museum of the future about the port of Hamburg – one of the cities most beloved tourism spots. What would it look like, if a travel guide or newspaper was transformed into an immersive, experiential exhibition? One that uses cutting-edge technologies to tell stories that are journalistically valid, well-researched, and inspiring. An experience rewarding enough to sustain a paid museum experience for the public as a sustainable business model. That was our challenge.

Describe the strategy

This experience was designed for everyone interested in Hamburg’s port, whether 5 or 85, whether harbour expert or port rookie. Whether technophile or technophobe. So, how to decide which content? Well, we started with the story. Together with countless experts from economics, politics, and society; from scientists and environmentalists to shipping experts; we researched and concepted our overall exhibition narrative. We then broke out into individual experiences, being mindful of all ages, interest levels, and technological affinity. This meant, we had to make sure that there was a range of low and medium involvement experiences for those more looking to lean back and absorb content. And high-involvement experiences for those up for getting stuck into the action to learn.

Describe the execution

Over a period of a year, the exhibition was developed from scratch. Including the entire room design, the branding and CI, the contents, stories and the individual experiences. The location: directly next to the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s most iconic place. The experience was 50 minutes long. So the whole thing had to be tightly choreographed like a play than a museum. We imagined the space like an interactive non-fiction book. First, you have an editorial, to pick people up and transition them into the topics. That was the “transition room”. Then you have the main part, where you can “free explore” as you like. Those were our 7 main installations. And finally, a conclusion - a closing finale played on the centre table. That's eight different interactive experiences across two rooms. For more information on the individual experiences please see the submitted case boards and case film.

List the results

The Discovery Dock launched to fanfare, and since then, has been consistently delighting visitors of all ages. Not just at the event opening when the Mayor of Hamburg declared it “the future of museum design”. Within a year, the experience earned a 5/5-star rating on Facebook, a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, and 4.3 stars on google. And 95% of all visitors would recommend the experience to a friend. In fact, the main feedback point why they didn’t give more, was that visitors wished for more time. After the first year, visitor sessions were pretty much fully booked. But what’s the most emotionally rewarding KPI? First-person voluntary reviews on platforms like Tripadvisor or Google: “Breathtakingly futuristic” zeronius suinorez, local guide, Tripadvisor “Awesome, modern, even a little sci-fi” Local guide, Tripadvisor “Unbelievable what’s possible with modern technology today” F.Nielsen, Local Guide, TripAdvisor “A genius way to experience the harbour” Loreen H, Tripadvisor