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From Mouth to Rectum - a Pedagogical Exploration of the Digestive System


  • Mirjam Mitternacht

Summary, in English

The aim of the degree project is a pedagogical and
interactive exhibition about the human digestion in
the science centre Vattenhallen placed at LTH. The
project is a collaboration between Vattenhallen,
the department of Applied Nutrition and the
School of Industrial Design.

The main purpose of the exhibition is to give
children and teenagers an overview of what food
consists of, how and where it’s digested, how our
digestive system is connected to other organ systems
in our body and how our health is influenced by
our eating habits. The purpose is however also to
present the extensive research in this field going
on at Lund University.

The primary target group is 12-15 year old
compulsory school pupils that visit Vattenhallen
during school hours. But the exhibition should
also be understandable and accessible to families
that visit Vattenhallen when it’s open to the public.

The main focus in this degree project has been to
turn complex biological and chemical processes
connected to our digestion of nutrients into
fun, sensational, understandable and interactive
elements in an exhibition that guides visitors
through all organs connected to our digestive
system. This has been done by e.g. considering
known knowledge gaps in the primary target
group, the physical possibilities and limitations
at Vattenhallen and emphasizing the way in
which they today organize their activities, by considering the pedagogical goals of the science
centre movement, different learning styles as they
are presented by Dunn & Dunn, exhibit design
strategies for wanted visitor outcomes and a large
scope of physiological facts.

The result is an interactive exhibition, adjusted
to work for several visiting groups, designed as a
tunnel stretching from our mouth to our anus.
During the journey through the exhibition the
visitors will have the possibility to experience
the textures, structures, sounds and muscle
movements of the system as well as all the steps
through which food is digested and absorbed by
our body. The exhibition will also give an overview
of the digestive systems connection to the blood
system, the lymphatic system and our cells.

In the visitor mode designed for the primary target
group the visitors will enter the exhibition with
a food-molecule put together by the different
nutrients in a chosen dish. In the tunnel the
visitors will have to solve puzzles to be able to
move forward and break down their molecule
into its smallest absorbable components. Later
these components can be absorbed in the parts of
the exhibition that represent the small and large
intestine. All components and interactions are
based on physiological and biological processes
connected to our digestion and the game is
constructed so that teamwork is crucial but little
or no pre-knowledge of the digestive system is







Diploma work


Examensarbete för masterexamen (Två år)


  • Technology and Engineering
  • Arts and Architecture

Report number

ISRN: LUT-DVIDE/ EX--15/50308—SE


  • Charlotte Sjödell
  • Per Liljeqvist