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B³ - Projects - The Hybrid Neighbourhood Museum - Portal to the World


Learn More about “A Portal to the World” Hybrid Museum of the Neighborhood as Experiential Learning Platform

The Hybrid Neighbourhood Museum “Portal to the World” is conceived as a space of encounters and discourse about belonging and connectedness in a growingly disembedded social world. It is a place of reflection on local identity in global openness, a concept that is one of the core elements of both the spirit of the state of Bremen and the mission of Jacobs University. Our campus is the ideal environment for encounters, of intersections of local and global, past and future. People from the University, together with Bremen citizens will reflect on the history of our Campus and its environs, on the region’s history and its “glocal” connectedness with the world and will even be able to experience global events locally.

In a nutshell, the The Hybrid Neighbourhood Museum “Portal to the World” project will be both a portal to the outside for our students and a portal into Jacobs University to our neighbors, the residents of Bremen. It is destined to become a breeding ground for evidence-based development of new, innovative forms of student-centred and project-based learning, while fostering an intense cross-disciplinary collaboration for the Jacobs University faculty – all the while connecting our region to us, and us to our region. It will serve as a didactic Petri-dish, an ideal environment for the development of innovative projects in the context of the “Community Impact Project” (CIP) approach, where Jacobs University encourages its’ students to apply what they have learned, academically, in a real-world problem-solving context in our region, thus contributing to the region they have been living and studying in.

Students will explore our complex campus history, researching also the dark side of the history of our neighbourhood and create “Virtual Stumbling Stones” (based on the concept of “Stolpersteine”) and other GIS based AR-exhibits. Projects will also research our neighbourhood as a starting and ending point of migration and international connections, creating Audiotours of our regions’ history. The museum will also invite non-academic citizens of Bremen to take part in our students’ exciting excursions live in a virtual reality settings, created in our museum, locally – be that with robots on volcanoes or out on maritime excursions.

On the long run, the “Portal to the World” Hybrid Museum will offer a sustainable multitude of potential student projects in the context of CIPs because it is sustainably operated and maintained on the grounds of ongoing further student CIP initiatives, mandatory for every generation of Jacobs University students. They will do their research guided by a specialist, integrating their own experiences, biographies, and self-reflection in the research process and answer directly for the results. Constant exchange and communication will be crucial, as students will do their research cooperating across disciplines and with other groups contributing to the common goal: the creation of the museum. For their supervision, a group of experts and lecturers will be created.

It is to be expected that a phase of reflection on their connections to our region, the “meaning of Bremen”, with its culture and history, will enhance building stronger (emotional) ties of our international students to our region after they have left us again. This is of special importance with those who go back to their home country – Bremen could even expect a positive economic effect based on this building and strengthening of bridges.

Among some of the foreseen Projects that the Museum will develop are the following:

  • Layers of Campus History

    A substantial part of the Hybrid Neighborhood Museum covers the history of our University in its regional and historic context. The buildings of Jacobs university have a complex history: Built in the 1930s, they served as barracks of the Nazi Wehrmacht. After 1945 they were taken over by US forces who installed a DP camp there. After the failure of an initial plan to establish an international university, the buildings were used by the newly founded German Bundeswehr. But, as a consequence of the military conversion of 1989 after the end of the cold war, the old project of an international university could finally be realized – Jacobs university was born. Finding and analysing exhibits for this part of the museum will be an ongoing part of scientific historic research (as already started by historian Dr. PD Ritter), of project-based research in seminars and of Community Impact Projects. Students will work with eyewitnesses (former inhabitants, people who worked there or had other relations to the building complex), to create a vivid and growing picture of the Jacobs University campus history.

    The material objects and documents discovered and acquired in the process will form part of the repository and form future exhibitions. Many objects will be collected in digital form or digitalised and potentially become part of the augmented reality part of the museum.
  • Glocality: A neighbourhood of migration and international connections

    In this project, students will discover various forms of forced and voluntarily migration to and from our region, including our neighbours from the refugee shelter “Blue Village” and even reflecting on their own migration experience. Secondly, they will create a discourse place for both university members and the public extra muros, by integrating people beyond the university in the project research. Students will research the multitude of connections between the neighbourhood and its global environment. Research will focus on history and stories of international connections and migration from past to present. Students will do research on the connections with the local environment and how global contacts are combined with our locality in business, politics, and society.

Project Chair: Dr. Jakob Fruchtmann

  • Dr. Jakob Fruchtmann
    Jacobs University

The Hybrid Neighbourhood Museum "Portal to the World" - Video with Dr. Jakob Fruchtmann

In this Video Dr. Jakob Fruchtmann is talking about the B³ project “The Hybrid Neighbourhood Museum- Portal to the World”. During these pandemic times, museums transcended the boundaries of physical location like never before. Visitors from all over the world were able to see their favorite exhibits virtually. Here in Bremen, the B³ project “The Hybrid Neighbourhood Museum- Portal to the World”, will show material and digital exhibits within its location on the Jacobs University Campus, as Augmented Reality (AR), beyond physical boundaries. It is designed to become a place of reflection, openness and inclusion, just like our campus, a true “Portal to the World”.


Impressions from the "Portal to the World" Event

Professor Rüdiger Ritter, external cooperation partner of the Hybrid Neighborhood Museum, shows the image of a migrants luggage in the context of historical narratives that the Museum will showcase in their “Ghosts of History” section.
Dr. Jakob Fruchtmann introduces the visual concept behind the Hybrid Neighborhood Museum – A Portal to the World”
Actor Boris Radivoj, who developed workshops that enabled students to create videos of enacted history, is playing the part of a migrant from the second world war, whose luggage was lost and later found in Canada. The luggage itself is a perfect replica of the original one, currently exhibited at the Canadian Museum of Military History.