The wonderful legacy of the Montreux Jazz Festival hits the road with Nina.

Nina is a design research journey. It started with the ambition to find out how to revive the millions of hours of audiovisual content that have been digitized around the world. It eventually shows how travelling can become a moment of cultural immersion. It also defines how these once-in-a-lifetime experiences can be relived and travel to reach new audiences.

In recent decades millions of hours of audiovisual content have been digitized like the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival listed in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” Register. How can one truly bring this digitized heritage back to life?

Fifty years of concert recordings digitized under the leadership of the EPFL Metamedia Center have provided an ideal framework for experimentation. The research conducted by the EPFL+ECAL Lab in close cooperation with the space conception laboratory ALICE seeks to take our digital heritage to a new level. It aimed to offer a social and immersive experience to the audience and strengthen its relationship with the original concert and artist.

Six years of research in design, architecture, engineering and user experience psychology have produced three operational installations and extensive user observations. The results, embracing principles of immersion, augmentation, physicality, acoustics and interaction set principles to revive audiovisual heritage, have been published by Leonardo/MIT Press.

Nina integrates these findings in a nomadic and compact installation that brings this cultural legacy to remote audiences.

Unexpectedly, this has given birth to a new vision of mobility as an emotional, social and cultural experience.

Enriching the experience, the Virtual Reality installation Scene-o-scope presents the cultural and human context which forged this unique festival: its lively atmosphere and contributions by artists such as Max Bill, Andy Warhol or Keith Haring.

It also shows the places which have woven unique connections between world-famous musicians, or the genesis of the song Smoke on the Water, inspired by the concert hall burning down on Lake Geneva.


Nicolas Henchoz, Project Curator
Dr Cédric Duchêne, Project Manager, Senior Engineer
Tommaso Colombo, Senior Interaction Designer
Allison Crank, Interaction Designer
Delphine Ribes, Senior Computer Scientist
Yves Kalberer, Software Engineer
Béatrice Durandard, Product Designer, Scenographer

Pr Dieter Dietz, Architecture Curator
Ruben Valdez Juarez, Senior Research Architect
Rudi Nieveen, Senior Research Architect
Manon Fantini, Architect
Tobias Cebulla, Architect
Quentin Andreotti, Architect

Metamedia Center
Alain Dufaux, Operations and Development Manager
Igor Ristic, IT Manager, Project Coordinator, Digitization
Olivier Bruchez, Senior Developer, Database
Gregory Marti, Senior Developer, Media File Manager
Sarah Artacho, Documentalist, song indexing
Caryl Jones, Technology Watcher, Quality Control
Julien A. Raemy, Archivist, Picture Digitization & Anecdote Creation
Céline Racine, Archivist, Picture Digitization & Tagging


Montreux Jazz Festival
Fondation Claude Nobs
Audemars Piguet


La Porch Sàrl
Illusonic GmbH
Anthony Gallo Acoustics Ltd.

Photos Credits
Daniela & Tonatiuh / EPFL+ECAL Lab

Video Credits
Geoffroy Dubreuil / EPFL+ECAL Lab


Gomez et Compagnie Sàrl
Antoine Estoppey, Blend Studio
Eduardo Baches Sàrl