The virtual exhibition "Jean Starobinski. Critical Relationships"

The virtual exhibition "Jean Starobinski. Critical Relationships" is the result of an experimental project launched by the Swiss Literary Archives of the National Library and the EPFL+ECAL Lab, EPFL's design research center. Apptitude joined the team as a technology partner to translate the vision borne from more than 15 months of research into an intuitive, robust, and efficient digital product.

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At the heart of the project, a multi-disciplinary collaboration

To undertake this unique digital experiment, the project brought together experts in literature, museum research, interaction design, engineering and human-computer psychology in a vast experimental project.

The valuable heritage embodied in this unique collection of documents and objects was carefully selected and enhanced by the exceptional work of the Swiss Literary Archives team and the Swiss National Library.

The research project involved a multi-disciplinary team of experts.

Discover the eminent Jean Starobinski through the expertise of the Swiss Literary Archives

Digitization of documents and objects by the Swiss National Library's reprography experts

Selection and conceptualization of interaction levels and perceptible realism

A steady pace of collaboration despite the sanitary restrictions during the covid pandemic

Research in design and content valorization being at the heart of this project, several months of research conducted by EPFL+ECAL Lab, led to the completion of an exhibition concept that is faithful to the philosophy of the illustrious Jean Starobinski.

Thousands of photographic reproduction tests, undertaken by the Swiss National Library’s reprography team, were necessary to capture the distinctive features of each document and ensure that their uniqueness is credibly transmitted in a digital representation.

Over the course of our workshops, bringing together the expertise of each stakeholder, we carried out explorations in interaction and information architecture, as well as rendering simulations, which gradually and collectively gave rise to a truly unique experience.

During the development of the digital exhibition, we prioritized performance optimization while keeping in mind the importance of image quality and smoothness necessary to offer optimal navigation to the majority of visitors.

An overview of the impressive selection of documents to discover.

An evolutive menu that allows to navigate on several axes in a fluid way.

Each document is emphasized through optimized sizes and subtle interactions.

Relevant and qualitative data are made available for each object in the collection.

An award-winning user experience even before the opening of the exhibition

The virtual exhibition won the User Experience Award at the competition Le Meilleur du Web 2020. The jurors highlighted their delight in navigating through the many documents in the collection and were won over by the easy-to-read and user-friendly nature of the journey.

In addition, the technical performance of the exhibition was praised as a result of the various optimizations implemented by our development team to ensure the best possible experience.

Discover the interview of Axel, our CEO and Romain Collaud, Artistic Director at EPFL + ÉCAL Lab about this award in the video below (in French):

A model for the digitization of the Swiss cultural heritage

The exhibition aims to serve as a canvas for the digitization of collections and open the door to new digital experiences featuring treasures from the Swiss Literary Archives and the Swiss National Library.

The Apptitude team is very proud to have contributed to the success of this first exploration and we look forward to continuing this emblematic collaboration.

Copyrights: EPFL+ECAL Lab / Fabien Scherler, Simon Schmid, © Swiss National Library, 2020.
Documents by hand, © Starobinski family.