Brede Works – Interactive museum installations about the industrialisation and textile industry in Denmark

General information

Domain: Industrial Heritage (industrialisation and textile industry)
Title: Brede Works – Interactive museum installations
Launch: 2009
Country: Denmark

Project focus

Brede Works is a museum of industrial culture located in Denmark’s largest protected industrial heritage area in the Mølleåen river valley north of Copenhagen. The museum tells the history of the industrialisation of Denmark and the community of the local textile factory, which was in operation from 1832 to 1956. The factory complex includes various production buildings (one of which houses the museum), a park with the factory-owner's country home and the small houses where the workers’ families lived.

The museum has implemented interactive stations in the exhibition areas where the visitors can use an ActiveTicket to activate individual characters who tell personal stories about work and life at the factory. The video En dag på fabrikken (A Day at the Factory) about the installation was awarded the Museums in Short Award 2012.



This interactive exhibition has been created by Brede Works and two creative industry companies, The Asta Experience and Oncotype ApS. The museum curators provided the knowledge about the daily working routines, industrial development and social conflicts of the time (set in the early 1930s). The Asta Experience served as the project manager for the interactive parts of the museum exhibition, developed the vivid and emotional concept and coordinated the implementation of the technical systems. The interaction and media designers of Oncotype produced the interactive videos for the scenographic installations.

Financing / funding

The interactive installations have been financed by the National Museum of Denmark, which is funded by the Danish Ministry of Culture.

Content & IPR / licensing

The content of the installations centres on the daily work and problems of individual people. At the interactive stations among the factory machines the visitor can choose between six characters (e.g. director, master-craftsman, female weaver and other workers) who tell their stories and interact with other characters. The stories and interactions are presented in 48 short movies. Topics addressed include problems of production and product quality, breaks, salaries and the labour union. Thereby the visitor can relate to the exhibited objects from personal as well as societal angles.

The content is embedded in the interactive installations, however the video “A Day at the Factory” is freely accessible on VIMEO. The copyright of the video rests with the author of the film script and Oncotype ApS.

In addition, the educational website “Det virtuelle brede” presents images and texts about the production and social life at the factory arranged on a timeline, and offers freely downloadable worksheets on various topics for teachers and students.

Technologies used / innovative features

The technologies comprise the ActiveTicket (with barcode), the scenographic installations and the system which controls the interactive stations with touchscreen, video projection and sound and light systems surrounding the museum inventory (e.g. machines and equipment). It is also worthwhile noting the physical experiences the museum offers. For example, in the exhibition area The Factory visitors can get an impression of what it meant to work at the dyeing machines, and in the area The Machinery they can work together at conveyer belts.

Target users

The Brede Works museum primarily addresses domestic visitors of all ages, with a focus on families, young people and school classes. Admission to the museum is free.

Lessons learned

Cooperation: The creation of the interactive stations required special expertise including historical knowledge about the work and social life at the industrial complex, design of scenographic installations combining the physical factory environment with interactive media, and production of engaging videos featuring personal stories and interactions between authentic characters. Also the specific requirements concerning the use of an ActiveTicket, hardware and software, audiovisual and lighting systems should be noted.

Content: The scenographic installations overcome the traditional approach of displaying factual knowledge about objects of an industrial heritage museum. Rather they touch the visitor in a vivid and emotional way through the stories and interactions of individual characters, which make transparent the economic and social contexts of the factory.

Technologies used / innovative features: The interactive stations and ActiveTicket allow the visitors a unique experience as well as tracking the usage (i.e. which characters and stories are chosen where). The development of the installations had to overcome some challenges because of the vast spaces of the museum and the necessary light conditions for viewing the videos.

Sources and links