Creating Immersive Experiences

The topic of black holes offers a great opportunity to learn about something fascinating yet often misunderstood. We liked the challenge of visualizing a physical element that has only been photographed once.


Since no one on the team knew something about black holes, we did a lot of research to understand the subject in its complexity. The question of how we visualize something of which so far only one picture has been taken accompanied the project through to the end.


Nova is a 5-10 min interaction where you can learn how a black hole is born into our universe, how it grows, evolves, and then dies by releasing all of its energy. Thanks to the use of gesture interaction visitors will be able to feel like they are in space and also understand how the laws of physics are challenged by the black hole.


Ramona Dombetzki |

Beatriz Vargas


Ana Robles


April 2020 - July 2020 (11 weeks)

My Role


The topic Black Holes offers a great opportunity to learn more about something yet so fascinating and still not very well understood. From that point we liked the challenge of visualizing something of which only one picture has been taken so far.


At the beginning of the project, we barely knew anything about black holes.

By the end of the project, we acquired a lot of knowledge about this topic.


As a result of our research on black holes, we have discovered many subject areas that would be interesting for the purpose of our project. But it quickly became clear that it would go beyond the scope and that there is too much information. That is why we decided to narrow down the subjects.

Visualization problem

With advanced knowledge, we have understood more and more how deep this topic is. The building complexity made it difficult for us to accumulate the information, so that we spent a large part of the ideation phase in creating a system that made sense for us. Our understanding of black holes before the project was very limited, since we all had only superficial knowledge. For example, it was the case that we assumed all black holes to be a stationary point since we didn’t read anything different than that. As it turned out, all black holes are rotating points around themselves.

How do we visualize something of which only one photo exists?

We had to discover many visual styles to get a feeling of what was going well and what should be avoided.

Summarized Research

We have divided the four final subject areas into four of us in order to build up a more in-depth knowledge of one topic and to have one expert per topic.


Concept Definition

Knowing which direction, the project should move into and defining a common vision should support us in the further process of following a common line in the current remote situation. This is how we created our project concept:

We defined our target group for a possible exhibition. In addition, we created a list of important terms that will guide us on the way to our vision.


Since black holes are a complex topic to understand, the concept of this exhibition is primarily aimed for adults and those who are willing to invest a little more time in the exhibition. This can be limited to the “experts” who stay in the interaction for about 10 minutes and the “flaneurs” who only have a quick look around, this can take them around 30 seconds.


At a point in our process, we didn’t know about the death of black holes. After reading about this topic, we built it into our content structure with one that now consists of formation, types, anatomy and death. These four subject areas gave us the opportunity to create an interesting storytelling.


We made use of a list with important key words to move the project as a team into a common list:

  • Immersive

  • Experience

  • Fascinated

  • Trip

  • Mind blowing exploration

  • New visualization

  • Accesibility

  • Understandable

Affinity Diagram

After our subject areas were determined, even more detailed research of the topics began and we collected the most important terms for each topic.

These should serve as a further basis and a safeguard that we are moving in the right direction. It also helped us to build a detailed overview to understand the subjects better.