Friends of Mainz University sponsor innovative School of Seeing

Starting capital of EUR 300,000 for establishing a display and experimental area as a forum for creativity in the humanities

24.02.2011

Friends of Mainz University invested EUR 300,000 in the establishment of a multi-functional pavilion facility. This establishes a forum of creativity in the humanities at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU): on the occasion of their anniversary, the Friends of Mainz University created the basis for building a School of Seeing on the campus of the University by providing a starting capital of EUR 300,000. "This will not only provide the University and the association of the Friends of Mainz University with an attractive, new presentation forum for conveying the importance of the humanities for the whole of society in a modern media context," explained Dr. Klaus Adam, Chairman of the Friends. "It will also be a building with symbolic relevance: the basic goal of the Friends, which is to maintain and promote the connection between the University, the City of Mainz, and the region, gets a tangible architectural representation that has a strong and lasting impact."

It is a particular goal of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) to convey scientific issues of interest to the public in a way that is easily comprehensible yet at a high intellectual level. In addition to a wide spectrum of event formats, the University also has the Green School and the NaT-Lab for pupils, which are two highly visible interfaces for intellectual exchange between the University, regional schools as well as the citizens of Mainz and the entire region.

"The School of Seeing therefore fits perfectly into our 'Civic University' approach," the President of JGU, University Professor Dr. Georg Krausch, told the Friends of Mainz University, "we make all disciplines from the sciences to the humanities accessible to children, adolescents, and adults in a vivid and creative manner. Scientific communication with different schools in this institutionalized form is a trademark of our University and unique in Germany."

The School of Seeing is a place for joint learning that conveys historical experience and inspires the critical handling of images: the mind of visitors is trained on three-dimensional objects of art using digital media - large-scale plaster casts of famous sculptures, cuneiform tablets or rare books turn the history of art into a personal experience. In this way, the School of Seeing conveys a key skill in our modern, strongly visual media world to young and older visitors. Besides, contact with different cultures inspires the imagination. A multifunctional pavilion structure is planned on the outside of the Philosophicum area, which will also be used to present extensive collections, including those of the Institute of Classical Archaeology and Egyptology as well as Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Art History.

The School of Seeing on the university campus will establish an intercultural, multi-media display, and experimental area in which the practical educational needs of the students are combined with the needs of the schools and the citizens to share our understanding of the humanities in the form of education and personal experiences. The multifunctional pavilion structure is intended to be an attractive site to support a network within the humanities and to facilitate project work with pupils, special exhibitions and readings, theater and music performances, the continuing education of teachers, lectures, and scientific congresses in a high-profile manner.