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rotterdam blitz of may 1940 captured in gripping experience

2015-03-30

For Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 NU, the former War Resistance Museum in Rotterdam, Tinker imagineers designed a multimedia experience that transports visitors to the bombing of Rotterdam of 14 May 1940. A moving experience, which forms part of the museum’s new presentation. The experience opened to the public on 28 March last.

A large touchscreen table in the middle of the museum. Visitors take a seat and the lights go down. Photos of modern-day Rotterdam architectonic icons are projected onto a 360 degrees 3D wall. The current city fades into characteristic footage of 1940 Rotterdam. We meet its inhabitants, linked to items from their everyday lives. A wedding dress, a coffeepot, little clogs.  

Suddenly, we hear cello music, the air raid sirens sound and engines roar in the distance. Bombers fly over from all sides, bombs crash all around us in a deafening roar, a wild sea of flames spreads along the walls. When the smoke from the destroyed city rises, the everyday possessions are lying in the rubble.  

Visitors witness what Rotterdam went through in the Second World War, and find themselves right in the middle of it all. The experience is not limited to the devastating Blitz alone, though. The resilience of the Rotterdam population and the subsequent reconstruction of the city are depicted as well. How did the bombing impact Rotterdam and its people? Afterwards, visitors can use iPads at the touchscreen table to search the collection, find personal accounts and link the events to the present.

By renewing the museum and by using modern presentation technology, Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 NU aims to appeal to a younger audience. The metamorphosis was designed by Tinker imagineers (storytelling and experience), Opera Amsterdam (spatial and graphic design) and Studio Louter (educational programme).