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Tangible Virtual Models

Tangible Virtual Models is a virtual model of the rare blooming moment of Titan Arum, the biggest flower of the plant kingdom. The blooming process is met with enormous public interest, but it is very rare and can only be observed for a few days. In order to conserve this experience and explore its didactic mediation, a virtual model was built in the research project Tangible Virtual Models. «Tangible» stands for «touchable», but also «comprehensible» – these are the exact qualities, that have always made didactic models one of the most efficient tools of knowledge transfer. The virtual model of Titan Arum also makes selected characteristics readable and spatially understandable. It can be examined individually, depending on interests and prior knowledge of the observer. Thanks to the Leap Motion Controller, the more than life-size model of the flower is manipulated and analysed intuitively without visible interfaces: It is possible to let the flower grow, view it in close-up and retrieve information about individual plant parts. Adhering to principles of «scientainment», the project is brought to a broad audience in a modern and entertaining way. The platform complements the approach through a compact and appealing video series which has been produced by the study program Cast/Audiovisual media.


Viaduktraum 2 A05, Level 2, Toni-Areal


Niklaus Heeb — Project Lead, Head of Subject Area Knowledge Visualization
Alessandro Holler — Research Associate Knowledge Visualization
Reto Spoerri — Developer, Game Designer, Managing Director Ludic GmbH
Jonas Christen — Research Associate Knowledge Visualization

Cooperation Partner:

Stiftung Gebert Rüf
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Subject Area Cast / Audiovisual Media




August 2015 – December 2017