Workshop for cultural heritage – connecting past and future visions of theatre architecture

Timeframe: 28th march till 12th april 2019, Studiengang Bühnenbild_Szenischer Raum  TU Berlin
Tutors: Pablo Dornhege, Franziska Ritter with Prof. Bri Newesely (Beuth HS) and Hubert Eckart (DTHG)
Registration deadline for students: 31st January 2019. Number of participants limited (18). details see below…

This twelve-day workshop aims at the conception of communication-strategies for historical and future theatre architectures as well as their digital implementation in physical, augmented and virtual spaces.

Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) are not technological fads, but will change our media landscape permanently. They open up new ways of experiencing content in spatial systems, they create new approaches and levels of communication. Both technologies must be understood as independent media with different mechanisms, visual languages and formal necessities.

On the occasion of the European “Sharing Heritage” year, we are asking which potentials digital tools such as VR and AR can generate in the museum and theatrical context and how the accessibility to im/material “theatre objects” can be improved. Two concrete theatres in Berlin are at the centre of the investigation. On the one hand: the no longer existing “Großes Schauspielhaus”  by architect Hans Poelzig, whose 100th anniversary will be celebrated in 2019. Historical objects in collections and theatre archives, such as drawings, photos, models, audio tracks, tell us today about expressionist architecture and visionary directorial concepts. With the help of VR, these are to be brought to life. On the other hand: the existing building of the Komische Oper Berlin, which, like many theatres, is soon undergoing reconstruction and renovation. With the help of Augmented Reality, current topics and, above all, future visions are to be made tangible to the specialist audience as a planning aid or on site.

In six interdisciplinary teams, various conceptual ideas and their prototypical realizations for digital and interactive services in VR and AR are developed for these two applications. The workshop teaches how virtual and augmented reality can be used to create narrative spaces. The participants will learn how to create an interactive VR/AR experience using the Unity software. No previous knowledge of 3D modeling or programming is required. In a second phase the results will be further elaborated and will then be presented at conferences and congresses in an international context (e.g. Quadriennale Prague, Stage Set Scenery Berlin). Further cooperation is expressly desired.

Impulses will be provided by guest lectures (e.g. cyberräuber) and excursions to best practice examples in Berlin (e.g. Virtual Konzerthaus Berlin), as well as guided tours to the Komische Oper Berlin, the  Stadtmuseum Berlin theatre collection and the museum of architecture TU Berlin.

This workshop is aimed at students from space or theatre-related courses (e.g: architecture, scenography, exhibition design, stage design, stage technology, art/technology/theatre studies, cultural studies, museum studies, communication design, art in context).

Patron of the workshop is the DTHG (Deutsche Theatertechnische Gesellschaft e.V.) within the framework of the project “Theatre Landscape”, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media – in the European “Sharing Heritage” Year.

Number of participants: 18 (limited)

Required Hard- & Software: Mac or PC notebook, should not be older than 3 years
3-button mouse (touchpad, drawing tablets and Apple mice are not suitable for working in Unity)
Unity 3D Personal – free accounts available at:
(Please update the installation shortly before the workshop!)

Short application: until 31st January 2019 by email to:
Motivation and short CV, if available: Portfolio with work samples from relevant areas (no previous knowledge in VR / AR required). The participants will be announced on 5 February 2019.

Language of instruction: English (feedback in German possible)
credits: Recognition as academic achievement (6 credit points) possible.


Pablo Dornhege researches, develops and designs real and virtual narrative spaces in his design studio 105106. During his studies at the Berlin University of the Arts, he focused on exhibition design and digital/analog spatial systems. In 2006 he co-founded the independent design group “Laborrotwang” and founded studio 105106 in 2018. In addition to his work as a designer and his research activities, he teaches among other universities at the Berlin University of the Arts, where he was visiting professor for exhibition design from 2017 to 2018.

Franziska Ritter is a scenographer and studied architecture at the TU Berlin (diploma) as well as film and photography at the University of North London. She is a lecturer and research assistant in the Master’s programme in Stage Design_Scenic Space at the TU Berlin. From 2016 to 2018, Franziska Ritter led the DFG project to digitize the theatre collection of the TU Berlin with the Architecture Museum of the TU Berlin and the Beuth Hochschule Berlin. She is a lecturer for exhibition design, scenography and theatre construction at various universities and departments, e.g. photography at the Design Akademie Berlin, Raumszenarien UDK Berlin,, Theatertechnik Beuth HS Berlin, Bologna.Lab HU Berlin, Interior Design CREAD Lyon France.

Interim project reviewer will be Prof. Zlatan Filipovic, American University Sharjah.

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