Dobbertin Abbey

Exhibition Abbey Office

Abbeys in Mecklenburg were not only places for worship and ecclesiastical life but centres of bustling commercial activity. Dobbertin Abbey was no exception, and it was this aspect of its existence, which was to be the main focus of an exhibition celebrating the abbey’s past. The historic site, which nowadays houses a residential complex and workshops for people with disabilities, was to play host for this excursion into its own heritage. Our job was to make the story of its life as an economic hotspot, in all its rich variety, as vivid as possible for visitors.

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We soon realised that these venerable rooms called for a decidedly modern exhibition. inkl. Design joined forces with Schwerin interior designer Michael Baldauf, a team of curators (Friederike Thomas, Sabine Kahle, and Heidrun Derks) and together we came up with a contemporary design for the event that drew on a wealth of historic references.

Combining ancient texts from the monastery’s cultural heyday with modern buzz-phrases, we designed special wallpaper, wrapping the exhibition in an evocative mixture of past and present. Displays pick up playfully on these contrasts between our modern world and a bygone era. For visitors who want to find out more, rotating cubes and futuristic glass spheres display further insights into life and work at Dobbertin Abbey.

In the attic of the monastery we look at the aspect of “judiciary“ of a monastery. The theft of of a silver spoon, „Holzmauserey“, adultery or intoxication – the list of human delinquencies punished at the monastery of Dobbertin is long. Once the court in the monastery had passed a sentence the prisoner was taken to the detention cell immediately.

Nowadays visitors find a lovingly designed oversized book in that very place, which teaches them everything about crimes and punishments.

Just as detailed is the 3D organigram we made about the people that held office in the monastery. With its info sliders it seems like a miniature theater and makes history come alive. We inkl designers know: It’s people and their fates that make history come alive in the present. By the examples of five monastery men from different centuries we tell additional fascinating stories.

Graphic concept

Schematic representation of the organisation chart with moveable silhouettes and additional information.

A glance at the exhibition

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Project details

Client: Diakoniewerk Kloster Dobbertin gGmbH

Project period: since 2013

Project partners: Büro Baldauf, Sabine Kahle, Friederike Thomas, Dr. Heidrun Derks

Project specifications: Exhibition concept, exhibition didactics, exhibition design, graphic concept, graphic design, concept for the implementation of the exhibition contents in Easy-to-Read language, production management