Aosta Valley Mining Park and Cogne Mine Exhibition Center

  • Municipality of Cogne, Edil AGV and Peaquin

  • Content Production
  • Video Production
  • Exhibition Design
  • Multimedia set-up
  • Interactive Installations
  • Serious game / Gamification
  • Sound Design

The Aosta Valley Mining Park and Cogne Mine Exhibition Center is an itinerary that follows the extraction of material through time and space and recounts the historical industrial exploitation activities of the mines in Valle d’Aosta from the Middle Ages and up to the 1980s.

The museum set-up has been realized through audio and video apparatuses that, through an interweaving of stories, noises and emotions, tell in a multimedia way not only the minerals, but the history of the place and the people who inhabit and have lived there. Graphics, window decals, original images and descriptive panels support the immersive technologies used, such as touch screens, totems and large projections.

Surrounded by characters who question him in the first person, the visitor steps into the shoes of a miner. The experience becomes even more immersive because of the presence of interactive games.

The Museum Path located at Moline Locality – Cogne Mine Miners Village is spread over two floors and also includes a space in front of the Drinc train and a floor of the “Descenderia” building.
grafica dedicata a edouard bérnard, a destra una sua foto in bianco e nero, a sinistra la sua biografia
Una sala del nuovo Centro espositivo Parco Minerario Valle d’Aosta e della Miniera di Cogne, allestimento museale di ett

The setting up

On the Ground Floor, the first room introduces the Mining Park complex through a film with archival images that highlight the strategic importance of the minerals, mines and mountains in these valleys.

Next, the visitor enters the environment presenting the park’s five sites (Cogne, Brusson Saint Marcel, Ollomont La Thuille) in immersive mode through audio and video footage, archival funds, and ad hoc filming using drones. Monitors connected to NFC sensors, which can be activated by approaching a special wristband, allow a motion graphics movie to be played, while audio is delivered via ceiling-mounted directional speakers.

The second room proper features three videos in which 6 costumed actors impersonate different characters and act out episodes related to historical content from three different eras: early Middle Ages, late 17th century, and mid-18th century.

The third environment also features a film played by actors in traditional costumes impersonating scenes from the community with dreamlike illustrations in the background of the mine. A large monitor plays a looped video, activated by an NFC sensor, which also starts a rear-projection video. This is the first-person story of Dr. Grappein, an acknowledged leader of the community, who introduced a type of community exploitation of the Cogne mine, dividing the work and sharing the profits among the villagers.

The last room on this floor features a brief gaming-style experience in which the visitor deals with the weighing of iron and its allocation among the Valley’s families using a touch monitor virtually. Also in the same room, another game challenges the visitor to pull a sled loaded with material along a route simulating the work of the traineurs.

The second floor opens with an experience similar to that of the first room on the ground floor: a movie played on monitors that is activated as visitors approach certain sensors. An actor impersonates one of the directors of the Cogne mine, recounting the work of his predecessors and his current difficulties in transforming the mine to a modern mining industry. During his narrative, the static background represented by the beadboard of the office wall comes alive, offering photos of the mine and its buildings.

As visitors enter the next room, Room 5, a film is played with audio being broadcast. A projector directed onto an original drafting table encourages visitors to use it as a touch station to browse drawings illustrated in the video.

The following room features a looping video depicting a foreman as he impatiently looks at his pocket watch. When the visitor approaches with the NFC bracelet, the actor starts talking, offering two similar but different short monologues, as if addressing different personnel, explaining in a few minutes the cautions for entering the mine.

The following room, themining experience, includes several elements of immersiveness and interaction. The experience begins with footage of a foreman instructing the new hire. The audio is entchanting, and in addition to the actor’s words, the sounds of the mine are also offered along the way. The miner’s objects, the revolvers or drills, are literally placed in the hands of the visitor, who can activate them by simulating activity in the mine. Through another monitor, also activated as the visitor passes by, an actor impersonates a miner and narrates his work and its danger. The experience continues with another interaction: the visitor listens to the charger and simulates the volley, i.e., retrieves the explosive sticks and places them in the holes along the gallery wall by connecting them to the detonator. After the countdown, he or she will hear an explosion and the electrical wires and candles will be thrown to the ground, leaving room for the next player’s interaction.

Additional footage, longer in duration than any of the previous footage, shows a mine scene recounting various aspects of the miners’ lives before literally opening the door leading to the tunnel.

Other footage, triggered as usual by NFC sensors, describes the work, the toil of a miner, and the end of a foreman’s shift.

The next room offers insight into the miner’s, employee’s and modern-day diet. Interactive monitors embedded in wooden tables allow visitors to learn about the diets of various professions between the 1950s and today and to activate their respective descriptive videos with a wave of their hands. This room also features films that, from original videos, reconstruct the life of the miner and the alternation of work, rest and sleep times. Four other stations in this room allow the audience to view interviews with some of the mine’s members and former members. Each monitor contains all the interviews, and visitors can choose the one they prefer.

To access the room dedicated to the Drinc train, visitors pass through a gallery containing photographic material and a model of the mines.

Inside the room are original parts of the little train with period details, such as benches.

An actor, impersonating the train conductor-machinist, narrates the last journey of the equipment, with all its difficulties, dangers, breakdowns, and needs during loading and unloading. A background audio of railroad in the tunnel accompanies the film, and a timed interactive game allows for a firsthand experience.

Room 11 presents stock footage of the last phase of the Cogne mine selectable from a touch screen from the cue of a few frames printed on the wall and associated with the film number.

The visit to the Cogne Mine Site and Regional Mining Park Museum concludes in the Descenderia building. In the chosen room, the lighting technology is designed to enhance and highlight the proposed content: from a totem activated by NFC sensor, the last film, that of the Capo Benne, is played.

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