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European Molecular & Biology Lab

European Molecular & Biology Lab

The European Molecular & Biology Lab (EMBL) is Europe’s flagship laboratory covering molecular biology. The European lab perform research and offer vital services to scientists. EMBL also trains scientists, students and develops and shares new instruments and methods in the life sciences to integrate European life science research.

At their Heidelberg headquarters, part of the building is an exhibition where visitors can satisfy their curiosity in biological processes. In a state-of-the art exposition center, they learn more about light microscopy, chemical biology, flow cytometry, proteomics and other interesting life science topics.

And as a picture is worth a 1000 words, what better way to explain complex biological systems than with dynamic lightboxes powered by Vivalyte?

Dynamic lightbox for EMBL Heidelberg

Immersive displays

Visitors are welcomed to the world of molecular biology by large-format animated lightboxes, colorfully and dynamically introducing everyone to the wonders of the microscopic world being researched here.

By magnifying views of organisms using visible light, light microscopy takes the researchers to new levels where they can see things that are smaller than the wavelength of light. Think cells, but even the viruses and proteins withing them.

The dynamic lightboxes make these magnified organisms understandable for the untrained eye. With precise animation, they highlight different layers and the movement within these research objects.

A great example is the large-format slice of a mouse brain, that clearly shows the individual neurons in the brain.

Functionality meets design

“It is great that we can disclose the complex biological processes for visitors”, says Eva Klose who was hired as creative director and graphic designer. “These concepts are very difficult to understand for people without prior knowledge”.

“The large-scale animations help them get a grasp of what’s going on. The lightboxes are also really good to guide people through the building. You have to understand that this is a research center where people work every day”.

“So it is not the intention that visitors wander through every corridor. At the same time, we also did not want the researchers’ working environment to be made less pleasant by all kinds of signs, arrows and prohibitive symbols. It is a modern and stylish building and we wanted to keep it that way. The result is a nice combination between functionality and design.”

Dynamic lightboxes for EMBL Heidelberg
Dynamic lightbox for EMBL Heidelberg

Lighting expertise

Vivalyte became involved in the EMBL project via subcontracting because of their in-depth technical knowledge of lighting and lightboxes.

Lorenz Vlieghe, Project Manager of Vivalyte: “The collaboration was really pleasant. Eva knew very well what result she wanted to achieve in this project and so we could focus on realizing those creative ideas. At times it was a bit challenging, but that’s the way we prefer it. You learn more that way than if you always repeat the same standard projects”.

The project’s partners were pleased with Vivalyte’s input and technical elaboration. As Eva said: “it is not a given to have a partner in a project that is so accessible as Vivalyte. Whatever questions I had, I could just call and get a quick answer. The staff is really open and cooperative. What I also noticed is that they always sent someone on site to clear any obstacles. That created a lot of reassurance and confidence for everyone involved. In summary, this was a really good collaboration and highly recommended”.


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