Mapping America

Visual Introduction to NONAM's Permanent Exhibition

  • 2014
  • Motion Graphics
  • 9 min

This picture and sound montage takes the viewer into the terrific landscapes of North America, among others to the Sequoia and Redwood forests in California with their giant trees, to the desert landscape of Monument Valley or into the icy Arctic where the unique Northern lights can be admired.



  • Genre:
    Motion Graphics
  • Format:
  • Run-Time:
    9 min
  • Client:
    NONAM (Nordamerika Native Museum) Zürich
  • Language:
  • Audio:
  • Aspectratio:


There are more than 600 different Native American distinguished ethnic groups in the U.S.A. and Canada. These are assigned to ten different territories, so-called “cultural areas”. Among those, the film montage is presenting six that are exhibited in the NONAM (Nordamerika Native Museum) in Zurich, Switzerland, i.e. Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, California, the Southwest and Northeastern Woodlands. The film montage provides an atmospheric entry to the permanent exhibition of the museum. Regional scenic and cultural conjunctions are opened up by means of impressive photographs and a sophisticated sound and music design. Thus, the diversity and cultural wealth of North America is illustrated.

Narrative Style

The film montage starts with an animated map that serves as a geographical orientation. As a basic element of the map, graphics and fonts were selected that are also being used for texts and titles in the exhibition, thus fitting harmoniously into the general NONAM exhibition branding.
Since the map is to convey a variety of information, it develops to the spectator in a moderate speed. Accompanied by gentle grand music, information is permanently added to the initially classy map designed on a dark background. Thus, the map animates to a meaningful structured information platform that works with a system of texts, colors, movements, background photographs and various audio-tracks to work out and characterize the different cultural areas.
This is followed by six scenes, assigned to the six cultural areas. The first photograph of each of these scenes was edited with a sophisticated 3d camera tracking – a technique that makes a two-dimensional picture appear in a 3d realistic look. The viewer is virtually absorbed into the landscape, and now the flora and fauna, as well as one of the specific indigenous cultures of this cultural area is being presented, and further exhibition-related subjects are being introduced.

Background Information

The North American Native Museum in Zurich is the only institution in Europe dealing with indigenous cultures of North America. Its modern, well-researched permanent exhibition is looked upon to be path-breaking for a contemporary presentation of the material and immaterial culture of the indigenous peoples of North America.
In addition to the permanent exhibition that focuses on the presentation of exhibits and their provenance and function, a new media center has been designed and put into operation by the NONAM, including large flat-panel displays and a comfortable sitting area. It enables the museum to visually present other contents of relevance, and to give Native Americans a face and a voice.
The film montage is being presented in the NONAM media center in an infinite loop offering to the visitor an atmospheric entry into the museum.

Movie Presentation

Media Room at NONAM – Nordamerika Native Museum, Zürich