The exhibition „Soziologie in Frankfurt: 1910-2010“ offers the intrigued public insight in Frankfurts history of sociology. The exhibition is part of the 35th anniversary of the Congress of Sociology (11-15. October 2010, www.dgs2010.de) first time hosted in Frankfurt in 1910.
The interesting part in the development of this exhibit was allowing a very fast and playful way to explore a huge archive of scanned documents, letters and photographs giving a behind-the-scenes look of the structures behind the history of sociology in Frankfurt.
With over 1200 documents (most of them shown for the first time to the public) visitors can follow their path of sociology´s history in Frankfurt from their beginnings around 1910.
The key elements in the design of the exhibits were accessability, skimming speed and readability: Imagine a 1200 page PDF or a multi volume printed tome in an exhibition – MESO succeeded in making the exhibit much more accessible and faster to skim through than a real book (let alone the PDF).
For the exhibit MESO specified a shuttle wheel and a high resolution monitor. The wheel allowed very fast scrolling through all documents. No other navigation is necessary, just a very fast and simple way to scroll through time.
Of course a digital display system like this allows many more features for searching, accessing etc. On the tight budget only a very small additional data visualization was implemented: A vertical timeline on the left side showed the timespan from 1910 to 2010 with a curved line connecting the documents to their creation date. Also a bigger monitor would have allowed a simple solution for reading impaired visitors, as the original documents could have been magnified.
The MESO Team: Sebastian Oschatz, Max Wolf, Nils Buhlert, Patrick Raddatz, Jochen Leinberger, Philipp Lorenz