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Breathing at High Altitude

Exhibition Design

The new branding of the Molecular Biology Research Center Max Perutz Labs is based on the vision of the Nobel Prize winner and eponym. As a communicative ambassador, we developed a mobile exhibition pavilion that tells his fascinating research story as part of a communication offensive promoting also the renowned Viennese institute.

Basic research experienced emotionally

Max Perutz was particularly interested in the function of hemoglobin in our body. He was the first to decipher the complex structure of the protein in detail. For this he received the Nobel Prize in 1968. He also developed a deep fascination for mountains, skiing and glaciers, which he consistently researched. A separate glacier in the Antarctic was named in his honor.

How we breathe at high altitude and the role oxygen plays in hemoglobin was the inspiration for the film’s script. It combines scientific illustrations and scenes on the mountain. It was shot with free-ride professionals on the Arlberg. The long way to the summit is an analogy to research, which requires perseverance and staying power. Curiosity and consistency also characterized Max Perutz.

University of Vienna: Station #1

The Long Night of Research was the ideal opportunity to show the exhibition for the first time in the arcade courtyard of the University of Vienna. Interested students and visitors also had the opportunity to admire protein crystals at the microscope station or to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of hemoglobin via the film.
The pavilion’s shape is inspired by the shape of the hemoglobin molecule. A top and floor base is surrounded by a fabric and parts into an exhibition space and a 160° cinema. Its lightweight structure can easily travel to other stations.
Construction of the pavilion with fabric walls and a human on a ladder
Detail of the construction of the fabric walls with eyelets during assembly
Lateral bird's eye view of the inner courtyard of the University of Vienna with exhibition pavilion, trees and building
The exhibition pavilion in the courtyard of the University of Vienna with meadow and people sitting in front of it
People standing inside the pavilion, reading the exhibition display on the printed fabric walls

The light and at the same time robust textile is outer cover, inside directly printed information carrier and projection surface in the cinema

The pavilion standing in the courtyard of the University of Vienna, with a view of the printed fabric walls and the entrance
Inside the pavilion work the fabric walls as exhibition display, in front of it stands a microscope
Person standing in front of the the printed exhibition display inside the pavilion whilst guiding a tour
People sitting in front of a cinema wall inside the pavilion

Exhibition construction: Franz Ritzer, master carpenter
Textile work & printing: Viennaprint
media technology cinema: cat x
film production: Harry Putz, freiluftdoku