Destination development

Destination development – Ironworks Experience

Destination development gruppe 2. Foto: Privat

Skrevet av: Paula Sánchez, Caroline Andersen, Mariken Andersen, Stian Andersen og Mohamad Abdul-Rahman Aziz. Destination development gruppe 2, høst 2019, Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge avd. Bø.

Ironworks Experience


For this work, we chose to focus on Ulefoss’ industrial history. Their industrial history is relevant for Norway as it is one of the oldest industrial operations in the country. More specifically we are going to use the ironworks as a museum where visitors could buy tickets to either explore the museum by themselves or sign up for an organized tour. We are going to include other aspects to this tour to make it a unique experience.

How it came about

During the brainstorming phase of this project, we had a couple of ideas, with one that stood out: the Ulefoss and Lunde Town Festival. This festival was going to span over a weekend, and we had planned many activities so that everyone who visit would have something to do.

We were set on this idea, until we were told, by our lecturer, to cut down on the activities, the target groups, and drop the activities in Lunde, and instead just focus on our AR aspect of the festival, and thus was our lecturers idea born, The Ironworks Experience.

Local identity and DNA

So for this idea, we have as the main focus to showcase Nome’s history and culture. We will have a historical tour, that will showcase the beginnings of the industrial manufacturing. In addition to that, we will showcase the culture of the area by introducing the visitors to local produced food, and having a paintings gallery showcase by Elisabeth De Lunde at Ulefoss ironwork, and maybe have her husband, Jakob Zethner perform a little opera concert in an empty area in the ironworks.

Available resources

To make our event into reality we are depending on some available resources around in Nome. The municipality will also help us with funding and organize different stands and where we can have them. The farmers will help us provide with local products that a catering company from Notodden called «Det lille extra» will use to serve people food.

Unavailable resources

For the unavailable resources, we have concluded that we only need the help of an external company related to IT, to carry out the explanation of these virtual reality activities. And also to help and monitor that the activity is carried out devoutly.

To get financial help for the ironwork’s experience, we had thought about promoting some local businesses, making a raffle, maybe the municipality of Nome can help or cultural organizations want to participate in the festival.

Target groups

At our festival, we are gonna be focusing on the Norwegian people (people from other countries are welcomed as well), locals and others. We will be focusing on families that could be interested in the industrial history of Norway in a new modern method, AR. In addition to focusing on students (Organized school trips), we thought it would be interesting for schools if they organized student trips to Nome, so they could visit our one-day ironwork experience day. The students will then learn and check out AR, and also learn more about the history of Nome (ironworks).


We have also been in contact with different stakeholders that will help us with activities and products at the festival. The famous Topaz shoes will be present in the festival and the organization will help us with prizes and stands. The famous artist Elisabeth De Lunde and her husband Jakob Zethner will have a gallery of paintings and an opera performance. This is a very exclusive for this event and we hope this will engage people. The local paper Kanalen will help with marketing and make people be aware of the festival. We will also have Topaz present their different models of shoes and sponsor us with prizes for the people who are coming.


Trends that we are focusing most on are sustainability, history, environmentally friendly impact and the use of modern technology.

By providing the catering company with local products from the farmers to cook for the visitors, we would have managed to support the locals, and we will not have to think about transport of all the ingredients and products, which is environmentally friendly. In addition to that, by having our entire program happening in the ironworks, no fuel would need to be used to move the visitors around. This will also in turn immerse the visitors more into the historic aspect of the tour.

And finally by using new technology, we manage to add a sense of immersion and making the entire experience more interesting and unique to the ironworks.


We will be focusing on having an good communication plan with the participants, from the beginning to the end. We are gonna be using social media to market our Ironworks experience day, as well as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. At Facebook we could create an own event for the festival. We will also be creating an own webpage for the day. Since we are trying to attract different target groups, we might have to use other ways than the internet, like newspapers, posters, send out information in posts, emails, and radio would also be an option. This is because not everyone might be updated on social media and we want to reach out to as many people as we can. That’s why we have to use different kinds of marketing.

AR (augmented reality)

We intend to use AR for two main reasons, first is how user friendly this technology is, and secondly how widely available this technology is, and could fit into anyone’s smart phone. The combination of these two factors, make this idea easily implementable. If the municipality invests some money into this technology, we could hire some mobile app developers to make an app that can play a part in our historical tour. As the visitors enter the iron works in Ulefoss, we could have QR scan code posters for the app hanging around in the lobby or hall where the tour starts. This will of course require the installation of a free WIFI-signal, so the visitors have the opportunity to download the app. As the tour starts, we can have specific parts of the tours to be interactive with our app.

These parts or areas of the tour could be machinery, hallways or other areas where some sort of activity was present when the factory was working, and when the visitors would point their phone cameras on them, a visual presentation of the scene would appear on their phone screens in real time. For example, if we pick a hallway where workers used to go through to get to their work, the visitors would point their phone cameras on this hallway, and on the screen, they would see the hallway projected from their camera, and on top of that, an animation of workers from that era would be walking through the hallway. This could be done across parts of the museum that the tour organizers would recognize as important.

Destination development

Destination development – Iron Games Ulefoss

Gruppe 1: Sahal Mohammed Abdulle, Raissa-Ingunn Volden, Barabara Rebeca Ajtujal. Foto: Elisabeth Kastet Brodal.

Skrevet av: Rebeca Ajtujal, Sahal Mohammed Abdulle , Raissa-Ingunn Volden Destination development gruppe 1, høst 2019, Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge avd. Bø.

Iron Games Ulefoss

When you visit Ulefoss, its industrial soul, history, infrastructure and architecture stand out. The iron foundry was founded in 1657. At the end of the 17th century, the iron foundry was Norway’s largest producer of different types of iron. This activity is part of the cultural heritage and it is important to value it, keep it and pass it on to the future generation in order to conserve it.

We felt the iron factory and the history around it were at the core of Ulefoss and how it came to be what it is today. At Øvre Verket you will get a sense of how people lived from the first half of the nineteenth century after the factory entered the Cappelen family’s possessions. Additionally, you will get to see some of the objects produced in the iron factory, which is situated only a few minutes’ walk away from Øvre Verket. Given the importance it has in Ulefoss it could be much more exploited.

Foto: Rebeca Ajtujal

Today the main production of the iron factory is manhole covers. Of all the other products they produced over the years, only a few beautiful oven models from the early years of the factory are still produced in a limited number. Unfortunately, the iron factory is not open to visitors for security reasons.

Our idea is to allow people to “visit” the factory nonetheless using VR and be able to see how it works in a far more engaging and interesting way than traditional short films or just guides talking. The idea is to show the process of iron forging now with the current techniques and technology, and thereafter show how it would have been done when the factory was created, so people can see the evolution. The VR would naturally be available both in English and Norwegian, and maybe in other languages depending on where the majority of visitors come from.

Iron games escape room

The industrial vibe and the presence of the iron factory and objects are great ingredients for escape rooms, and as Ulefoss doesn’t have an escape room yet, we think this would also work great in combination with the VR. The museum (Øvre Verket) is a good place for establishing this for economic reasons (if one or several of the existing houses can be used rather than having to build a new building,) but also because it is situated in vicinity of the actual iron forgery (2-3 minutes’ walk) making it more real for tourists. In addition, the museum contains real ancient objects from the forgery, and we think that after learning and seeing the process through VR it is important to have something tangible to look at and the opportunity to buy some minor objects as souvenirs. The escape room could be situated in one of the bigger buildings with several rooms if we want a longer and more complex escape story. In terms of the content it should build on the formation of iron, its chemical properties and other characteristics such as its role in the human body. It will also address how iron has been used from the iron age until today and how it has been produced throughout the different ages including how it is done today in Ulefoss Jernverk.

Foto: Rebeca Ajtujal

The duration of the escape room should be one hour. We think this is short enough to attract tourists staying in Ulefoss only half or a whole day. We think the escape room and the VR are likely to attract students from the region to visit also the rest of Øvre Verket.


From a marketing perspective, package deals should be proposed for people travelling with the canal boat (boat, VR, escape room, visit of the rest of the museum) and also for those travelling by other means. For example, packages including bus tickets (from Bø, Skien…) to Ulefoss with the VR, escape room and museum. This would be especially relevant for students. We also think they should have package deals with and without the escape rooms, since the latter will probably not be as relevant for older tourists or tourists who have a short amount of time to visit Ulefoss.

In order to promote the destination in a more cost-efficient way, the municipality or Telemark museum could propose internships to marketing and Tourism students. Special deals could be offered to high schools and universities who promote Ulefoss on their webpages (English and Norwegian). This would require the collaboration of the municipality, the factory owner, the county, the bus company (Telemarkekspressen), the students who would be interested in promoting these attractions in exchange for internships and the University’s involved.

One of the challenges Ulefoss faces in the tourism sector is its lack of visitors in the low season. Both the escape room and the VR would attract people throughout the whole year. Our main target groups would be university students in the area. Companies and other organisations could be interested in using the escape room for team building, while middle school classes from both Midt-Telemark, Nome and Grenland could incorporate the Museum with the VR as part of their education program in history.

After visiting Øvre Verket, the VR or the escape room it would be good to have a sales point where people can buy small traditional objects such as miniature manhole covers, jewellery made with iron, mini “Troll-biler” and other traditional objects that are easy to transport. These souvenirs could also be sold on the Telemarkanal boats.

One of the challenges in making this project possible is obtaining the permission from the iron factory owners to enter the factory in order to film and make the VR actually possible. Although this may be complicated, we think it is in their interest as well given that we would be promoting their factory, its brand name and its products to a broad public.


Kle deg i kumlokk!

Bak fra venstre: Joraand Stavåsen fra Rett Profilering og Marit Svalastog, prosjektleder i KRAFT. Foran: Daglig leder på Øvre Verket Mette Sanden (t.v.) og trainee i KRAFT-prosjektet Maren Sandbakk. Begge foto: Gunnar Sanden

En viktig del av KRAFT-prosjektet er det vi kaller «the DNA of a region», eller «områdets DNA. Det betyr at når vi skal bidra til utviklingen av nye produkter eller konsepter, vil vi basere det på det som er spesielt for og uttrykker identiteten til akkurat dette området. Og hva er vel mer ikonisk for Ulefoss enn – kumlokket?

I samarbeid med Øvre Verket og Rett Profilering har KRAFT har bidratt til en helt ny kleskolleksjon basert på en av Ulefoss’ viktigste identitetsmarkører, nemlig jernverket, som har vært i drift siden 1657. Line Brekke Rasmussen ved Ulefoss Jernværk har levert designet, og daglig leder ved Øvre Verket, Mette Sanden, og Joraand Stavåsen ved Rett Profilering på Ulefoss har sammen med KRAFT funnet fram til ulike modeller, farger og størrelser.

Kumlokkene fra Ulefoss er å finne over hele verden.

Hettegensere- og jakker, longsleeves, luer og nett i alle farger og av høy kvalitet er klare i gavebutikken på Øvre Verket, i akkurat passe tid til julemarked og julegavehandel!

Folk som får ting til å skje

Kulturarv i bruk på Øvre Verket

Ann Cathrin fra Ulefoss Kulturarv forteller Olines historie. Alle foto: Maren Sandbakk

I de gamle arbeiderboligene på Ulefoss jobber en engasjert gjeng for å skape en møteplass for lokalbefolkningen og en attraksjon for tilreisende. Det som i dag er igjen av de mange små boligene jernverkseier Cappelen samlet og flyttet til Ulefoss for å huse arbeiderne sine på 1800-tallet, rommer i dag flere små virksomheter, utstillinger, restauranten Spiseriet og et fredfullt og idyllisk uterom.

De siste fem årene har det skjedd mye på Øvre Verket. Antallet turister som finner veien hit om sommeren har økt, men leder av venneforeningen, Mette Sanden, har også som mål at Øvre Verket skal være en møteplass for lokalbefolkningen. Blant annet arrangeres en rekke konserter og foredrag på Spiseriet utover høsten, samt julemarked i desember.

Ben Zweerts steker brød i steinovnen på Øvre Verket.

For oss i KRAFT-prosjektet var det interessant å høre om driften på Øvre Verket og hvilke planer og tanker driverne har om utviklingen av stedet. Driver av Spiseriet og Ulefoss gjestebrygge og bobilparkering, Gerben Pietersma, har sett en økning i antall gjester som benytter seg av bobilparkeringen i sommer, noe som også kommer Spiseriet og Øvre Verket til gode.

For å nå målet om at Øvre Verket skal bli en møteplass for lokalbefolkningen, er driverne opptatte av at det må bli mulig å gå trygt fra sentrum til Øvre Verket. Vi stiller spørsmålet: Hva må til for å knytte Øvre Verket sammen med Ulefoss sentrum?

  • Det er funnet en gammel vei som går fra Øvre Verket og mot sentrum. Den kan utbedres og tas i bruk.
  • Gangfelt for trygg kryssing av Jernværksvegen inn til sentrum
  • Tydelig skilting nede på gjestebrygga, som viser veien både til bobilparkeringen, Øvre Verket og inn til sentrum
  • Skilting fra sentrum mot Øvre Verket, bobilparkeringen og gjestebrygga

Hva er gevinsten av disse tiltakene?

  • En opplevelse av at Ulefoss har flere tilbud ved å fremheve de eksisterende
  • Større bruk av sentrum
  • Økt trivsel
  • Økt gjestetilfredshet
  • At flere av innbyggerne benytter seg av tilbudene som finnes

I tillegg til utstillinger finner du disse virksomhetene på Øvre Verket:

Selfie fra drivermøte på Øvre Verket. Bak fra venstre sitter prosjektleder i KRAFT, Marit Svalastog, Anna fra Nome antikvariat, Ann Cathrin fra Ulefoss Kulturarv, tommel opp bak undertegnede er Mette Sanden, Randi driver Håndarbeidsbua, Susanne driver Marjas Fotogalleri, og Heidi er fra Ulefoss Rammeverksted.