The Power of Touch

Interactive Books Bring Artworks to Life in the Major Gauguin Exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler

A delightful celebration of the book form in print and digital media.
Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD), Merit Award 2016

Art Education Enhanced for the Senses

When you first turn the pages, they seem like ordinary illustrated books. Except their pages feature a combination of physical printing and virtual projections. The multimedia-enhanced books created by iart, which made their 2015 premiere at the Fondation Beyeler’s Gauguin exhibition, make the artists’ work tangible to all the senses.

A firework of imagination and inspiration.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 13 June 2015

Touch and Understand

In contrast to the artworks in the exhibition, the books are expressly meant to be touched. The printed book pages are complemented by projected content and amaze with animations accompanied by sound: A ship enters the port of Papeete, and Gauguin’s sketches morph into the painting based on them. And windows with supplementary text in three different languages can be opened and closed.

Fondation Beyeler Paul Gauguin Exhibition Interactive Book Hand touching
A form of educational outreach that retains the validity of the original and yet points beyond digital reproduction.
Hochparterre, 25 March 2015

Integrated Technology

The technology intentionally remains in the background – hidden inside the ceiling and concealed in the pedestal beneath the book. Gauguin’s world from the 19th century merges with the digital world of the 21st century.

Technical Facts

  • Exhibition area: 135 m2
  • Camera and projector on the ceiling
  • Book pages made of Tyvek
  • Book content in Drupal CMS
  • Controlled by sensors in the pedestal beneath the book
  • Animated wall graphics
  • Audio guides for children and adults
Fondation Beyeler Paul Gauguin Multimedia Room
Fondation Beyeler Paul Gauguin Exhibition Multimedia Room Interactive Books Wall Projection Map

A Room for Educational Outreach

The walls of the multimedia room also provide insights into Gauguin’s life. An animated world map, partly printed and partly projected, shows Gauguin’s travels around the world. Texts and photographs tell about phases and discontinuities in the artist’s life story. An audio guide, also developed by iart, accompanies visitors through the entire exhibition.

  • Opening


  • Location


  • Client

    Fondation Beyeler

  • Partners

    Idee und Klang Audio Designberger + stadel + walsh

  • Services

    2D/3D DesignTechnical PlanningPrototypingSystem DevelopmentSoftware DevelopmentSystem IntegrationRequirements ManagementCoordinationContent DevelopmentInteraction Design

  • Awards

    • ADC Awards Switzerland

    • iF Design Awards

    • Essence

    • Show All Awards
    • Red Dot Award

    • Essence

      Member prize of the Swiss Graphic Artists Association
  • Photos & Video Footage

    Mark Niedermann and iart

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