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My Frankfurt model 2015

Frankfurt/Rotterdam 2015 to 2017

For the new permanent exhibition of the Historisches Museum, which was to open in 2017, a city model measuring over 70 square meters was to be created that would show the city from the perspective of its inhabitants. For this reason, the museum team was out and about in the city in the summer of 2015, asking 1,166 Frankfurt residents about their views of the city.

From May to September 2015, we visited all 42 districts of Frankfurt (the airport was not counted and administrative units such as North/South/West/East were combined) to talk to as many residents as possible and find out what they thought should be shown in the large city model. We wanted to record and document their knowledge and everyday expertise about life in the city districts with questionnaires and interviews. The questionnaire asked, for example, about the "flair" of the district: What color, smells or sounds do people associate it with? How do people feel about the pace of life in the district? But it was also about important places, such as social meeting places, excursion destinations or landmarks. Using city maps, a mapping was carried out that provided information about places with positive, neutral or negative connotations.

It quickly became clear that we could only implement this broad-based format with the help of a large group of key workers. Together with them, 35 local appointments were scheduled, at which we were present with a research bike. With the Junges Museum unterwegs (Young Museum on the Road), we were able to gain an independent cooperation partner who explored the city with children and young people in ten other neighborhoods. There was also an opportunity to participate in the project on the Internet. The response to our visits, especially on weekends at street festivals, fairs, village and district festivals and markets, was very good; the museum was welcomed everywhere and received broad support. A total of 1,166 questionnaires were completed, an average of 27 questionnaires per district. As a conclusion of this research phase, we created district portraits from the collected data, which served as an inspirational construction guide for the artist.

The artist Herman Helle translated this artistically and, together with his team of twelve, created a living model in which the most important places are depicted on a larger scale. Some of the stories of the Frankfurters are reflected in the model through allusions and found objects. Above the model is a sound collage, which also reflects the "sound image" of the city. 


Made and sponsored by

Imprint (Download PDF)

Further Material

Documentation of the Summer Tour 2015 - My Frankfurt Model (Download PDF)
Film about the Frankfurt Model
Film about the summer tour