Mikkel Kaa

Sonic College is knowledge-partner in the exciting EU project Hope & Despair.

Hope & Despair is a Danish-German collaborative interregional project in which Sonic College is participating. Its goal is to bring together seven World War II museums and memorial sites to develop new museum experiences and attract national and international visitors.

Multidisciplinary collaboration

Sonic College participates as one of four knowledge institutions, providing expertise in immersive storytelling and sound design for museums, as well as conducting research on the new exhibition initiatives. The project stems from the important new cooperation with other design and research institutions in Kolding, established after Sonic College relocated to the new campus in 2022. Sound plays an increasingly important role in the work of historians and museum communication.

However, utilizing sound for storytelling and immersive experiences requires both technical skills and an understanding of the significance of sound to create the right solutions locally. Associate professor, Jonas Kirkegaard and Reader Birgitte Folmann, are Sonic College’s coordinators and researchers on the project. They contribute with profound knowledge about interaction design, anthropology and sound design, which is an important asset in the “Hope & Despair” project.


Hope & despair is a relevant project for Sonic College to engage in because sound plays a central role in multimodal communication approaches in places like museums – both in direct communicative presentation but especially in the more sensory and mood-oriented aspects of exhibition design.
We hope to contribute significantly with knowledge and concrete design solutions in the project, and further develop this field through intervention-based research and innovation”
, says Jonas Kirkegaard.

International visit at the UC Syd

It is the first time that the involved Danish-German cultural-historical institutions and tourism organizations collaborate across borders on World War II communication, as well as closely cooperating with knowledge institutions in the region. The project has been granted funding from the EU and receives approximately 14.5 million DKK in Interreg funding.

In April 2024, people from all the partner institutions came to UC Syd for one of the development meetings. Here they discussed how to create a whole new museum experience:

”How can we see history from a different perspective? Where are the differences and similarities in our view of the past? ‘Learning from history’ is an important issue not only in German schools, what is it like in Denmark and what is negotiated there as a central issue?
What can we learn from our shared history for the future? These are all questions that we hope to shed more light on in the course of the project
”, says Mirjam Gläser, project partner from The Jewish Museum of Rendsburg.


She is glad to have Sonic College on the project team: “Like the Design School Kolding, Sonic College is also a special project partner for us as a museum, as we hope to use the creative methods of sound and graphic design to create new and special formats of education and communication. And our last meeting showed exactly that, we are very excited to see what else we will develop together.”

Design School Kolding is the lead partner in the project, which, in addition to UC Syd Denmark, includes Museum Kolding, Frøslevlejrens Museum, KZ Gedenk-und Begegnungsstätte Ladelund, KZ-Gedenkstätte Husum-Schwesing, Det Jødiske Museum i Rendsborg, Destination Trekantområdet, Destination Sønderjylland, Europa-Universität Flensburg, Tourismusagentur Flensburger Förde, and HAW Kiels – Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften.


Read more about the project and stay up to date with the progress here: https://www.interreg-de-dk.eu/dk/projekter-og-resultater/vores-projekter/enkeltvisning-projekter/hope-despair/