Germany for Beginners

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany, krafthaus, the workshop belonging to facts and fiction, was commissioned by the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Goethe Institute to design and implement the “Germany for Beginners” travelling exhibition.


We deliberately wanted to avoid further adding to the ranks of historical exhibitions on the subject. Instead, we choose the approach of a musée sentimental that freely meandered between information and entertainment.
The style-forming element was the alphabet whose 26 letters provided the keywords for the exhibition. The oversized, partially sculptural letters served as showcases for texts and exhibits and a variety of interactive features.
The didactic concept of the exhibition was the “self-development” of the contents by the visitors. Curiosity aroused, the visitors discovered the hidden information in a playful way that enabled it to remain in the mind. The texts followed the principle of semantic optimisation and were therefore easy to understand being reduced to a few essential statements.
From A for Arbeit (work) and C for Currywurst (sausage) to G for Gemütlichkeit (cosiness) and Z for Zukunft (future) puzzle-like image emerged that provides with lots of surprises and insights into contemporary Germany and not only for the beginners.
The exhibition was designed in two versions. The Federal Agency for Civic Education presented Germany for Beginners in Aachen and Aabenraa in Denmark in 2014. The Goethe Institute’s set is currently on show in Brazil.
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