Education project

Who has the say?

Cultural heritage is something that matters to us all. So the objects shown at the museum matter to us all as well.

The MEMOBOX format enables museum visitors to share the stories, memories, and associations evoked by the objects displayed. Visitors thus have an opportunity to speak up, to contribute actively to the exhibition, and to leave a mark.


A Participatory education Project

Inspired by the MUSEOMIX creative event in 2016 and the question it posed, “Who gets to have a say in the museum?” the MEMOBOX format tackles the issue of the museum’s interpretive authority head on. The MEMOBOX is a place where visitors can share the stories they are reminded of by the objects exhibited. The project thus bridges the gap between past and present by forging a personal link between visitors and the objects on show in the museum. It gives visitors an opportunity to speak up, to contribute actively to the exhibition, and to leave a mark. It works by uploading visitors’ audio recordings onto the Museum Guide so that they become part of the background information provided.

The Historisches Museum Basel is using this participatory element to find out whether, and how, it should involve its visitors in the work of the museum. The test phase began in January 2018 and the format is to be launched in March 2018.

Opens external link in new windowHere you can listen to the visitors’ recordings collected so far.

Would you like to record something yourself?

You will find the MEMOBOX in front of the following object:

Benedict von Curiger (1754–1816), ceramic reliefs with anatomical representations of Einsiedeln

Location of the objects: Barfüsserkirche, ground floor, cabinet of curiosities, showcase Scientifica


The MEMOBOX is financed entirely by funds kindly provided by Swisslosfonds Basel-Stadt & Pro Helvetia.

Concept, content and implementation: Team HMB 
With the support of: Assistance with concept, design and French translations: Aurélie Fourel / English translations: Bronwen Saunders / Joinery: Cyrill Hämisegger / Development of the recording app and external website: nesolu, Basel / Museum Guide extension: ui/deation, München/Köln


6 prototypes, 3 days, 1 winner

The purpose of the creative event MUSEOMIX Basel held in November 2016 was to address the challenges facing the Historisches Museum Basel. There, six interdisciplinary teams spent three days brainstorming, developing, modelling, and crafting six prototype educational tools. The idea was to propose new modes of access that would challenge the “hallowed” atmosphere of the museum and make the works exhibited there more approachable.

Visitors to the Basel Museums Night in January 2017 were given a chance to say which of the projects they liked best. A good 300 people cast their vote and the winning project is now being developed for the Historisches Museum Basel.

  • First place with 43.9% of all the votes cast was “Er-Sie-Es-Zählen”
  • Second place with 28.6% of all the votes cast was “MYseum”
  • Third place with 27.5% of all the votes cast was “FLOWME.franz”

WHAT WAS THE PROTOTYPE “Er-Sie-Es zählen” all about?

The app Er-Sie-Es-Zählen” takes visitors on an audio tour of the exhibition, but an audio tour with a difference. At selected objects of relevance to larger topics such as love, drunkenness, desire, or death they can stop and listen to the stories told by fellow visitors, whether young or old, experts or amateurs. The stories are collected in the “Er-Sie-Es-Zählen” box – which looks rather like a confessional. There visitors are invited to get up close and personal with selected objects. The MEMOBOX is thus a place to linger, ponder, and tell stories. Stored in the audio tour of the museum, the recordings made by visitors provide additional perspectives from which to view the objects.

Our congratulations go to the winning group, namely to Erica de Abreu, Aurélie Fourel, Indre Gru, Michelle Huwiler, Safak Korkut, Isabel Münzner, and their coach Mona Ebdrup, who are now working with us on implementing this project for the HMB.

For more on last November’s creative marathon and on the other MUSEOMIX projects, see our YouTube playlist.