Inspiration Station Vol. 18

Play with perspectives. Delve into the missing universe. Perhaps you want to escape the rat race and live out your dreams as a puppet? Well, whatever your preference, we’ve got something that’s sure to float your boat. We’ve even got “virtual touch” technology. No really. Prepare to have your minds blown!

This month, we’re getting real vibrant. Full of dazzling colours and profound experiences that’ll make you question the very nature of your existence; the Inspiration Station Vol. 18 is going to take you on a psychedelic journey that you won’t soon forget. You’ve been warned – now it’s time to lose yourself down this wonderful rabbit hole of the most astonishing examples of design, tech and experiences, that we’ve seen so far in 2019. Are you sitting comfortably? Here we go…

Experience

Shoplifter – Nervescape VII

If you thought this looked a bit like some sort of Muppet explosion, you’re not alone. Just look at all that furry colour. Stick with us here… Citing her primary medium as hair, Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (her moniker Shoplifter, may be easier to remember) isn’t interested in the natural shades of brown, instead she prefers something a little more vivid. The huge immersive installations coat gallery walls, floors, and ceilings, enabling visitors to navigate through her textural worlds.

Touching on themes of vanity, self-image, fashion, and beauty as inspiration for her work, she shared that it was born out of an obsession with strange mass produced objects like hair extensions and people trying to beautify themselves and be unique.

Though she exhibits worldwide, you can catch her solo show Nervescape VIII at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland through September 15, 2019.

DARK MATTER

From HOOKED, to SPARE PARTS, and now DARK MATTER. Science Gallery London has provoked visitors into questioning the complexities surrounding a range of important topics through art; from addiction to body alteration – the one of a kind gallery combines creativity and science with wonderfully profound results.

The latest free exhibition focuses on Dark Matter, drawing on recent research from the Department of Physics at King’s College London. The season focuses on the crucial role of artists, philosophers and storytellers in helping to understand the world by inviting guests to question their understanding of reality itself. “Imagining the unseen and questioning the invisible”, DARK MATTER will not only explore the concept of invisibility and infinite divisibility, but also the human quest for absolute truth and knowledge.

As well as an immersive animation installation which reflects on the physics of a cartoon landscape, you can expect translucent dark matter spider webs, a new installation that translates dark matter simulations into sound patterns and a perpetually changing liquid crystal painting which transforms with the ‘energy’ of Twitter feeds of protest movements around the world. Deep.

Otherworld

Have you always wanted to know what it’s like to live life as a fisherman? Not for you? Ok how about a puppet-master? Still not quite right? Each to their own. Why not try out life as the puppet itself! Billed as “London’s most immersive Virtual Reality arcade and brought to you by the world’s most mysterious technologist”; Otherworld is a unique experience devised by The Dream Corporation.

Designed to be an island retreat with a difference, the remarkable alien environments immerse visitors in a range of vibrant fantasy realms – the goal? To cure the chaotic stress of urban living. If you think it sounds a lot like an episode of Black Mirror, you’re not alone. The island offers portals to sixteen incredible VR experiences for users to explore. The experiences are pretty eclectic too: Fight a zombie apocalypse deep in Arizona. Blow up robots with laser cannons. Go on adventures with a tiny mouse… The (Other)world is your oyster, champ.

Lost and Found – Snark Park

Fancy investigating some spacial perspectives? Of course you do, who wouldn’t. Lost and Found is an immersive pop up installation currently on display within Snark Park’s 3,000 sq ft. Installation Room in New York. The monochromatic maze invites visitors to interact with the art to “get lost and find special hidden visual and tactile worlds within”. The installation will change 3 times a year, with the next install due around August.

Snark Park, which is partnered with AMEX, Squarespace and Kith treats, was conceived by NY-based collaborative design practice Snarkitechture, who imagined this theme park-like destination of design. Fun fact: the strange name was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of The Snark; a poem that describes the “impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature.”

Circus Roncalli

You may have seen this one in the news or on social media, but we thought it was so brilliant that we had to talk about it. Circus Roncalli has moved away from the traditional, and now frowned upon use of animals, to please animal lovers everywhere by using futuristic hologram technology instead.

Founder Bernhard Paul, invested more than £400,000 to perfect the light show which involves 11 projectors to create 3D holograms and other projections in the animal-free show. With a crew of 15 designers, as well as software engineers, pulling off the circus of the future was no mean feat. Now, hologram horses stampede out of nowhere, giant fish float lazily and a hologram elephant approaches the audience before balancing on its front two feet. Welcome to 2019 everyone!

Design

MVRDV – (W)ego

The Dutch-based architecture and design studio MVRDV has designed a multicolour “Tetris-style” hotel called (W)ego for Dutch Design Week. The concept for the reconfigurable accommodation was born out of the future of cities in a world of decreasing resources, increased population and climate change. Flexibility is essential and so it can be adapted to the different needs of any future inhabitants.

“Through gaming and other tools, (W)ego explores participatory design processes to model the competing desires and egos of each resident in the fairest possible way,” said co-founder of MVRDV

Google – A Space for Being

This study could help rethink experiential concepts by better understanding how people react in certain settings. Google teamed up with scientists at Milan Design Week to show how different aesthetic environments actually impact our health and wellbeing. They call it neuroaesthetics… the Chinese call it Feng Shui. However this is now quantifiable proof that design is important to our mental state. To measure this, visitors were equipped with wristbands which measured psychological and physical responses and shown around three differently designed areas.

There was the “Essential” environment which took influence from caves; featuring warm earthy tones and soft furnishings to create a “womb-like” space… cosy! Next up was the “Vital” environment with bright colours and beams of light interlacing the space to create a feeling of playful excitement. Finally, there was “Transformative” with its steel, wood and leather for a refined feel, which was then animated with neon. Visitors were then shown a pretty watercolour representation of the reactive data collected. Delightful.

Luftwerk – Parallel Perspectives

Next up, Chicago. Artistic duo Luftwerk recently opened an exhibition called Parallel Perspectives at the Elmhurst Art Museum’s contemporary art center and historic house. Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero installed acrylic panels, RGB LEDs, and light sensitive interactive diffusers, to create a veritable kaleidoscope of colours and geometry that would blow the mind of even the most hardcore of 1960’s counterculturalists.

The glass walls fill the space with a constantly changing spectrum of layered hues, altering perspectives every second. Luftwerk say “This exhibition combines ideas of Johannes Itten’s color theory and the basic concepts of the Bauhaus: with the geometry of a square as a prevalent form and playing with one-point perspective and 90-degree angles.” There you go.

Parallel Perspectives is on view at the McCormick House now through August 25, 2019.

Singapore Changi Airport

Ah the airport experience. Weatherspoons, a veritable sea of grey hues, displaying your teeny-tiny toiletries for all to see in a clear plastic bag… it’s not exactly the most glamorous start to your journey. Until you hit the business lounge. Nope, we don’t get to do that either. However, for those of you passing through Singapore, you can find tranquility in a tropical oasis located in Terminal 3 of all places! Bet you never thought you would hear that sentence.

With over 1000 butterflies fluttering around the leafy enclosure, the airport is regularly voted the world’s best. The four storey indoor “forest valley” containing over 3000 trees and a whopping 60,000 shrubs, not to mention a series of gardens and mazes… AND THE WORLD’S BIGGEST INDOOR WATERFALL. Oh, well done Singapore, you have excelled yourselves.

Coming Soon…

The Outernet

This new “cultural amphitheatre” as it’s being referred to, is due to open on Tottenham Court Road in 2020. The development is comprised of a hotel (Chateau Denmark), a 2000 person capacity music venue, office spaces and apartments. It also looks seriously cool. It will even include a live broadcast environment with 360º, 8K floor-to-ceiling screens!

With this being the first in a collection of similar buildings being built in LA and NY, the architectural innovation has its sights set on reviving the glory years of Soho’s music scene.

London Mezcal Week

This July, London Mezcal Week returns for its third year. Running from Monday 15th to Sunday 21st July, this time around it will be hosted at one of our favourite venues in London, at TT Liquor in Shoreditch.

Throughout the week-long event, there will be a range of different events at the liquor emporium; including tastings in the Cellar Bar, masterclasses in the designated workshop area, and a cocktail-paired Mexican feast with a screening of Y Tu Mamá También in the cinema room. The main event will be a tasting festival with 50+ brands of the good stuff. Sounds like it’s going to get mezzy!

Technology

Google Soli

If you’re one of those cynical types who aren’t easily impressed, then hopefully this will get you a little bit hot under the collar…

Google have continued in their quest for global domination (sorry, that was meant to say excellence, global excellence) by developing this advanced hand gesture recognition sensor.  Soli is a purpose-built sensor which uses a miniature radar for motion tracking the movements of the hand. You’ve all seen Minority Report right?

The revolutionary chip combines the entire sensor and antenna hardware into a super-compact 8mm x 10mm piece of hardware. Offering the user a futuristic method of interacting with their environment that’s bound to turn a few heads. This is one seriously impressive, cutting edge example of the future of immersive tech.

Ed Sheeran – Cross Me

Whether you love or hate him, this is a very impressive piece of computer animation. You know how much we enjoy our 3D projects here at Clive, and this must have been one serious undertaking. With an equally serious budget. So sit back and enjoy one of the many pinnacles of modern creativity. (Feel free to mute it if it’s not your cup of tea, this writer wouldn’t blame you).

INITION / Ultrahaptics Collaboration

INITION specialise in technology innovations. No really, they’re as advance as Skynet. But much less sinister. Experts in the development of immersive installations which involve everything from VR, AR and mixed realities, to unique interaction devices, interactive displays – even holograms and haptics. More on that shortly…

One morning, we popped down for a peek at their Insight Studio, located beneath their offices in Shoreditch. Upon entering their den of wonders, they provided a glimpse into the future of emerging tech and a showcase of their collaborative work with Ultrahaptics.

Ultrahaptics specialise in creating tactile sensations in mid-air. That’s right, no controllers or wearables. Just their patented “virtual touch” technology, which uses ultrasound to project shapes and textures directly onto the user’s hands. We know right, it’s mind-blowing. Controls can be operated without touching a thing, while being enhanced with tactile feedback, and users can actually feel objects in the air. Words do the experience no justice.

When you add this extra layer of immersion, including touch along with sight and sound in an immersive virtual experience, it really is something special to behold. Just smell and taste left to go and then we can leave this outdated reality for good. Darling, it’s so 4.54 billion years ago.

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