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ALE – Augmented Learning Experience

Hochschule Luzern –

Design & Kunst

Core team:

Samuel Frei, Prof. Dr. Axel Vogelsang, Stefan Fraefel, Bettina Minder, Yasemen Büyükberber

Creative content:

Jürgen Haas with students Katrin Junker, Irina Huwiler –BA Animation, Robert Müller with students Christophe Merkle, Leon Thau, Patrick Portmann –MA Design

External designers:

Fruzsina Korondi, Yvonne Roggenmoser, Marina Lutz

In collaboration with:

Hochschule Luzern – 

Institut für Tourismuswirtschaft

Barbara Rosenberg-Taufer


Thomas Buckingham, Sargans – Scientific advice

Economic partners:

Netcetera AG, Quant AG, Flims Laax Falera Management AG

Supported by:

Kommission für Technologie und Innovation KTI


The UNESCO World Natural Heritage site Tectonic Arena Sardona is situated in the Glarus Alps, in an area bordering the cantons of Glarus, Graubünden and St.Gallen. This is a place where you can observe, as nowhere else in the world, the primeval phenomena whereby mountains are created in all their natural variety. Hitherto, however, the touristic popularity of the region has fallen somewhat short of its geological significance. This is above all down to the
fact that the special nature of the region is not immediately evident to the visitor, and appropriate analogue information displays on site, in the form of information boards and the like, would be a questionable modification of the natural scenery. This was the point of departure for the research project ALE – Augmented Learning Experience. The project has investigated the practical potential of mobile technology, in the form of smartphones, for digitally designed presentation and interactive communication of knowledge relating to the natural heritage site at the point where it is offered – in the heart of nature itself. The project relied on storytelling methods and augmented reality approaches. The results have contributed to the development of an app which was first tried out in the Tectonic Arena Sardona, and has proved totally successful in practice. 

Comments of the nominators

The interdisciplinary team used design thinking approaches to identify and find narrative idioms for augmented reality. Technical resources have been extensively relied on, but never as an end in itself. The convincing aspect of the project is that the research results were rather a response to the needs of tourists and future users. The project offers userfriendly insights into the methodology of geology researchers.