How can museums be made fit for the digital age?

Supported by Engagement Migros, the digitorials.ch initiative aims to develop and implement custom digital strategies for eight Swiss museums and art galleries.

Digital cataloguing, online ticketing, social media: museums have long been moving into the digital age. But there are many possibilities which remain unexplored: this is at least partially due to the fact that digital technology has been installed piecemeal or as an add-on. What is often lacking – and presents the real challenge for many institutions – is an integrated strategy which also factors in the structure and organisation of a museum.

On the initiative of Engagement Migros, the pioneering digitorials.ch project is to support eight Swiss museums over the next three years in developing and implementing a comprehensive digital strategy. Unlike most similar projects, theory and practice will go hand in hand: the results of preliminary conceptual work will immediately be tried out in practice. This means that the institutions involved won't just gain experience, but - in keeping with the idea of an agile approach - will be able to further adjust structure and processes.

So-called Digitorials® are used as case studies. This digital format combines innovative storytelling with an integrated multimedia presentation of images, sounds and text, setting new standards in communication of cultural content. Production of Digitorials requires work to be done in agile, interdepartmental teams, making the process particularly suitable for bringing about sustainable change in structure and organisation.

Digitorials® were developed at the Städel Museum, the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung and the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt in Germany. The participating Swiss museums will build on the concept and develop it further.

Workshops and individual coaching will be provided to enable each museum to shape its own digital futures.

digitorials.ch is a project by maze pictures swiss, in collaboration with the Städel Museum, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Swiss agency Zense, and made possible by Engagement Migros, the development fund of the Migros group.

The Engagement Migros Development Fund enables pioneering projects for social change, breaking new ground and putting future-oriented solutions to the test. An impact-oriented approach combines financial support with coaching-like services in Engagement Migros' Pioneer Lab. Engagement Migros is made possible by around 10 million Swiss francs per year from the companies of the Migros Group, and has been supplemented since 2012 by the Migros Culture Percentage.

The maze pictures swiss GmbH was founded as a subsidiary of maze pictures GmbH in 2018 in response to the increasingly pressing challenges of digital transformation. maze pictures works in consultation with leading international cultural institutions - from development of comprehensive digital strategies, right up to realisation of collaborative, innovative digital projects.

Zense GmbH is a consultancy and agency based in Zurich, specialising in communicating complex factual information, supporting change, and designing creative processes.

The Städel Museum, the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung and the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt are breaking new ground in the world of museums with their digital educational content.

As the largest Swiss initiative for digital development of museums, digitorials.ch offers exciting insights into the digital transformation process. Over the three-year course of the project, a number of Digitorials on current topics in the museums will also be created and made available here.