Hortus conclusus (lat.) describes an enclosed, well-kept garden. Dating back as far as to ancient Greece, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, gardens were a symbol of knowledge and education. This exhibition showcases the historic teaching materials of the School of Arts and Crafts, Pforzheim.

spacial design,

exhibition design,

visual identity

In this unprecedented exhibition, the University of Pforzheim (formerly the School of Arts and Crafts) gives insights into the unique collection of historic teaching materials and — in times of homeschooling and blended learning amidst the COVID pandemic — raises the question: "What do we need to be able to study?"

Hortus conclusus took place in the upper floor of the Faculty of Design of Pforzheim University. An enclosed pool was created in the middle of the room by arranging several 1x2m wooden platforms in a rectangular shape. Accessible via a ramp, the 20cm high plateau offers a great view of all the displayed teaching materials. 

Enlarged copies of inventory lists were printed onto translucent paper and hung across a ten meter wall. This makes the process of curating, documenting and re-discovering the historic teaching materials transparent to the visitors. They can thus immerse themselves into the written records of the collection.

Besides post cards, we designed an illustrated legend of the basin in which the teaching materials were spread out. Visitors were able to walk around the garden of knowledge and find out more about the objects that sparked their interest. The post cards and list of exhibits were printed on INAPA Enviro Harmony paper, which has been awarded with the Blue Angel for exceptional sustainability.

Up until this point, books, models and patterns from the early beginnings of Pforzheim School of Arts and Crafts were kept in the local archive and the Jewelery Museum of Pforzheim. Additionally, plaster casts and sculptures that were previously hidden away in the attic of the school have been recently discovered. Some of the recovered taxidermy models even date back to Fin de Siècle of the 19th century. In this unprecedented exhibition, the Pforzheim School of Arts and Crafts gave insights into the unique collection of historic teaching materials.


University of Pforzheim,
faculty of design.


Laura Hagenschulte,

Tim Eckermann


Kéroïne Intense Légère (Charlotte Rohde)

Basier Square (Atipo)


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