Livsreise Norwegian Heritage Center

The Story of Our Fathers

Seven Generations Experiencing a Collective Life Journey


This is the greatest integration of digital and historic artifact design I have ever seen.

Ellsworth Brown | Director, Wisconsin State Historical Society


Livsreise (pronounced lifs-rye-sa) means “Life’s Journey” and was conceived of and delivered by The Bryant Foundation as a gift to the citizens of Stoughton, Wisconsin to celebrate its rich Norwegian heritage.

ZEBRADOG was retained to research, interview, write, program, design, and build the entire exhibitory plan for this modern storytelling experience. Eighteen months after the first meeting, we opened this sacred space to hundreds of people and Norwegian dignitaries during the annual Syttende Mai celebration.



Exhibit Design
Identity Design / Branding
Experiential Design
Content Strategy / Development
Interactive Media Design / Development


Museum / Cultural Center

“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 experience dedicated to the many significant stories of Norwegian immigrants who arrived in Stoughton, Wisconsin between the years 1825 and 1924. 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.

  • Personalize your adventure. Choose a vocation, pack your trunk, and buy a ticket to America on the interactive media table to map your emigrant journey across the Atlantic.
  • Discover the history behind the Emigration Movement, including the social and economic conditions that motivated these decisions.
  • Explore the cultural roots of Norwegian-American heritage via interactive kiosks featuring traditional customs, daily life, the language, performing arts, and more.
  • Immerse yourself in digital storybooks compiled from firsthand accounts, personal letters, and family interviews revealing the path to a new life in America.

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.


New Norwegian Heritage Center Tells Immigrant Story in Stoughton