Livsreise Norwegian Heritage Center
ZEBRADOG was retained to research, interview, write, program, design, and build the entire exhibitory plan for a modern storytelling experience we named Livsreise (pronounced lifs-rye-sa) which means “Life’s Journey”. Eighteen months after the first meeting, we opened this sacred space to hundreds of people and Norwegian dignitaries during the annual Syttende Mai celebration.
This is the greatest integration of digital and historic artifact design I have ever seen.
“Our Norwegian pioneers were poor, but they were not paupers. It was not their ambition to be organ-grinders, peanut-vendors or rag-pickers. They had come to make, by the sweat of their brows, an honest living. They possessed stout hearts, willing hands, and robust health.” -Rev. Adolph Bredesen, Lutheran clergyman, Oct. 10, 1894
Livsreise is a modern storytelling experience dedicated to the many significant stories of Norwegian immigrants who arrived in Stoughton, Wisconsin between the years 1825 and 1924. It was conceived of and delivered by The Bryant Foundation as a gift to the citizens of Stoughton to celebrate its rich Norwegian heritage.
Part museum, heritage center, interactive showplace, and Norwegian antiquities homestead, the space exudes the authentic experiences Norwegians lived through at the turn of the 19th century.
The 15,000-square-foot center is warm, welcoming, and whimsical, thanks to examples of Norwegian troll folklore. Textiles, musical instruments, cooking implements, and religious artifacts create a rich tapestry. No detail was overlooked. Even the Livsreise logo is inspired by the åttebladrose, or eight-petal rose, commonly found in Norwegian textiles.
ZEBRADOG’s experiential design team designed one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits merged with 150-year-old documents and personal family relics brought thousands of miles to the new Wisconsin territory from Norway to tell stories in the words of these brave men, women, and families.
Community leaders and delegates from Norway send waves of Norwegian natives to Stoughton to experience Livsreise – A Norwegian-American Treasure. Regardless of your family heritage, this is a truly unique celebration of the immigrant experience.