Claudia on 5/14/2019

Demodern and DuMont take you on a virtual tour at the Port of Hamburg


An interactive, future-thinking permanent exhibition that brings the Port of Hamburg to virtual life using state-of-the-art virtual reality technologies and an unique choreography of mixed reality, projection mapping, and real-time data. Together with Dumont Media Group, the award-winning experts from Demodern transformed an empty space next to the Elbphilharmonie into an immersive, interactive experience. Leading the project from initial research, over the idea, to final exhibition in less than a year. 

Aiming to enable unseen perspectives and unique experiences around the Port of Hamburg, two Demodern teams of their Hamburg location were developing the Micro Amusement Park Discovery Dock together with their client DuMont and numerous partners from business, politics and science. The teams were inspired by the current circumstances of the Port of Hamburg and the maritime trade, both in terms of naming and in terms of design direction. The Discovery Dock has been officially opened at May, 13th by Peter Tschentscher, the Mayor of Hamburg - right in the heart of Hamburg's Hafencity.

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The Discovery Dock conveys the multifaceted nature of the Port of Hamburg on an interactive adventure trail accompanied by ambient light and realistic sound. The focus of the experience is a model of the Port of Hamburg, which is brought to virtual life with the help of interactive projection mapping in 4K. Visitors experience at eight stations or exhibits, including several virtual reality installations, how it is to work in the port in authentic portraits of employees, they get to know the underwater world of the Elbe interactively and in life-size and feel the ship movements by using real-time data. In addition, visitors can become the crane operator of a container bridge or take a look at a gigantic cruise ship in Europe's largest dry dock. In addition to this unique contemporary experience, there will be an exciting outlook on the future of the harbor.

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To realise the experience, Demodern started with extensive research on the inner workings of the harbour. After this a conceptual roof was developed that would have enough scope to cover the diversity of the topics addressed. Through content mapping around this roof, a storyline was then defined: one that had the ability to weave all these different story aspects together, whilst providing visitors with a coherent and compelling experience. From this, the experts were quickly able to define the different stations, prototyping technological solutions and working iteratively toward our vision. The Discovery Dock is concepted for more than hundred visitors a day. One tour lasts 50 minutes.

"With the 'Discovery Dock' as an interactive on-site experience, a Micro Amusement Park has been created, providing unprecedented perspectives and insights of the Port of Hamburg and which make it an unforgettable event for tourists and locals because of its new, playful and engaging interactions", Alexander El-Meligi, Managing Partner and Creative Director at Demodern explains. For Demodern Micro Amusement Parks are spatial installations that are aiming primarily the entertainment of the guests, eliciting enthusiasm and, moreover, communicating educational and informative content in a playful and effective manner. "And that's exactly what we want to achieve with the installations of the Discovery Dock," Alexander El-Meligi says. Together with the client, he and his Hamburg team are responsible for the overall concept of the 'Discovery Dock' and have developed the entire experience in close cooperation with the DuMont project team.

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But not only Demodern starts into a new era. DuMont's goal is to establish a new business model for a future-oriented business expansion with the Discovery Dock. "With 'Discovery Dock' we are expanding our Hamburg know-how into non-media business areas. In addition to our core business, we are investing in the growth market of tourism and edutainment, thereby reaching new target groups, "says Susan Molzow, Managing Director of Hamburger Morgenpost Medien, DuMont.

Cooperation partners of the "Discovery Dock" are AIDA Cruises, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) as well as the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA). In addition, the experience will be supported by Blohm + Voss, the University of Hamburg and the Hamburg Department of the Environment and Energy. Antje Dittrich heads the overall project for DuMont. In addition to Demodern as lead agency, other service providers are involved in the development of the Experience. These include The Marmalade, WESOUND, Exozet Berlin, Impuls Design, Lichtfaktor, Ladiges and Dekom.