Most children and young people in Germany don’t know their rights. But not knowing what their rights are means they cannot defend themselves when those rights are infringed upon. The question is: how can children’s rights be best communicated to them? Through a remarkable project for the Hamburg branch of the Deutschen Kinderschutzbund – the German child protection agency – Saint Elmo’s is encouraging children, young people and adults to think about children’s rights. The project is intended to support the charity’s work, which aims to improve the lives of children and young people and to enshrine their rights in Germany’s Basic Law.
Children’s rights as virtual sculptures
Saint Elmo’s creates the first virtual museum for children’s rights.
How do you teach children their rights?
The goal: enabling children to interactively view and experience their rights. In order to achieve this, Saint Elmo’s created a virtual museum in which children’s rights take shape and can be discovered through play.
An empty plinth with a QR code
The virtual museum was “opened” concurrently with the inauguration of the Square of Children’s Rights in Hamburg on 20 November 2019. To mark the occasion, Saint Elmo’s presented the Deutsche Kinderschutzbund with the artwork “The Secret Sculpture – the first virtual museum for children’s rights.”
A work of art in augmented reality
The museum, which can be visited in augmented reality using an app, features 42 holographic characters – one for each of the rights in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. They were designed by 42 well-known artists, including Erwin Wurm, Joseph Crossley of the Astral Projekt creative studio, Björn Holzweg, 1010 and the artist duo Doppeldenk. Renowned studios such as MaibornWolff and Haptografie digitally rendered the 3D sculptures and made them available to the project.
The physical sculpture is an empty plinth featuring a plaque with a QR code on it. Scanning the code makes one of the holographic artworks appear on the plinth when viewed with the AR app. Viewers can then simply swipe to view the next of the rights of the child and associated artwork. The holograms are accompanied by the text of the right of the child depicted.
While Hamburg’s Square of Children’s Rights has a fixed address, the museum can be accessed from anywhere in the world. That way, children can enjoy learning about their rights at home or at school. All they need is the free “Secret Sculpture” AR app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or the Google Play Store, and the museum’s QR code. And it’s easy enough to get a plinth of your own: simply print out the PDF TEMPLATE on the Deutsche Kinderschutzbund’s website and make it yourself.
The crowds at the inauguration of the Square of Children’s Rights in Hamburg and at the “Hamburger Familientag” family festival, where the virtual museum was one of the main attractions, are not the only proof of the project’s success. As a new and innovative medium that conveys important information to children in an exciting way, it has also received numerous awards: In 2019, the ADC presented the first virtual Museum of Children’s Rights with a Silver Award, two bronze medals and a merit. The project even received four Gold Awards and one Bronze Award at the 2019 Cresta International Advertising Awards.