Inclusive museum design

Cultural heritage to touch

Photos above: The tactile relief of the tombstone of Emperor Friedrich III to touch. Photos below: The tactile relief of Maximilian I's painting expands the experience of art by the sense of touch.

For the Niederösterreichische Landesausstellung 2019 "Welt in Bewegung" VRVis translated two historical works of art into tactile reliefs.

For a decade now, the Multiple Senses research group at VRVis has been investigating how Key Enabling Technologies such as Visual Computing can be used to make art more accessible for people with special needs. From the intensive research into the topics of Inclusive Digitization, Design for All and Accessibility in Museums, VRVis has developed, among other things, a process through which visual art can be translated into tactile reliefs using special software and an innovative milling process: Art to touch.

At the Niederösterreichische Landesausstellung 2019, two of these custom-made reliefs by VRVis were exhibited in addition to the original works of art. A famous painting of Maximilian I. and the tombstone of Emperor Friedrich III., which for several centuries could only be seen with the eyes, were made accessible for visually impaired and blind people, as well as for all visitors of the exhibition. The computer-aided method of VRVis can translate works of art with all their painterly details - up to casting shadows if the work of art requires it -, ornaments and perspectives in 2.5D tactile reliefs.

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