Culture with all Senses (Kultur mit allen Sinnen)

Collaborative project of the German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (DBSV) and the Berlinische Galerie (museum of contemporary art of Berlin)

A man with a white cane is standing in front of a blue painting on the tactile guidance system holding a smartphone in his hand. A woman with a smartphone is standing on his right hand side

„Culture with all Senses“ worked on making the permanent collection presentation of the Berlinische Galerie accessible for blind and partially sighted persons. By this general guidelines and recommendations were developed which everyone can use to make exhibitions accessible for people with sightloss. A website and a brochure were created about all project results.

Three general dimensions of accessibility:

1. Information and Orientation

  • descriptions of the directions from the next metro stations to the museum on the museum website and in the museum app
  • optimizing visible information in the building
  • braille labels on lockers and toilet doors
  • tactile map of the museum and the exhibition
  • navigation advices based on i-beacons in the inclusive museum app

by these measures the project is the right approach to allow blind people an independent navigation in an art museum

A hand holding a tablet showing a painting and a audio stream with a play button underneath. In the background the tactile guidance system on the floor

2. Audio Information to the Art Works

  • inclusive audio guide in an accessible app for iOS and Android: „Berlinische Galerie – Ein inklusiver Guide“ (=“Museum of contemporary art – an inclusive guide“) (available on play store and App-Store for free)
  • general audio information on the background of the art works
  • detailed descriptions of the art works for visual impaired people
  • advices how to use the relief copies of artworks
  • magnifiable photos of the art works optimized for partially sighted visitors
  • advices for orientation based on a positioning system on i-beacons
  • information and English, German, audio and text format, also readable with braille display (by deaf-blind people)
  • the system is open to include more artworks and more types of information like for children, easy language, sign language or other national languages
A hand holding a smartphone. On the screen there is a painting and underneath a stream of an audio file with a play button. In the background a guide dog laying on the tactile guidance system on the floor.

3. Relief Copies of seven Paintings

  • in the creation guidelines for good tactile images were used and enhanced
  • the reliefs are designed as close as possible to the original
  • different materials as natural as possible are used
  • the characteristic of tactile exploring by blind peapole were followed like avoiding perspective, too big or too small sizes, as realistic as possible in 3D
A woman is sitting on a bench in front of a painting and touching a tactile relief of the painting on the wall.


  • DBSV initiated the project and assured that way a collaborative process between museum and visual impaired people
  • blind and partially sighted people were involved in planning, steering and running the project in all stages
  • as project partner DBSV ensures the further use of all experiences made in the project

Results and Documentation

guidelines on how to create:

  • audio description texts on artworks
  • relief copies of paintings
  • an inclusive multimedia museum app
  • design well readable information or partially sighted people
  • concept a flour guiding system
  • a brochure in print and accessible PDF-format gives a brief overview on the aspects mentioned:
  • after the project new content connected to the topic were created and published, like guidelines on „how to design guided tours for visually impaired people in museums and in the nature“

Impact and Follow-Up

  • the project was winner of the CPP-Digitalpreis 2019 -
  • and finalist of the Digital Imagination Challenge 2018 -
  • in the first year more than 1000 persons have used the inclusive museum app
  • several museums have created own accessible exhibitions insprired by the project like Deutsche Historisches Museum Berlin, Humboldt-Forum Berlin, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Neanderthal-Museum MettmannLWL-Museum Münster
  • DBSV is constantly in contact with museums who want to offer accessible exhibitions