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caressed vessel
installation,

2019

sensory installation devising an antidote to apathy

design brief

 

Design an installation responding to the contemporary theme ‘antidote to apathy’ by enticing the senses and providing visitors with an emotive multisensory experience. The focus of the installation should be on spatial quality, time and narrative and the choreography of one’s senses to produce an engaging immersive experience. Located within Carriageworks examine the relationship between the intimate scale of the senses and the larger scale of the built environment.

concept statement

 

A symptom of modern life is a disconnect from the capabilities of our own bodies. With the advancement of technology and constant temptation of self-criticism we are guilty of becoming numb both to our own beauty and the allure of others. Acting as an antidote to apathy, The Caressed Vessel, aims to restore this union by immersing us within a comforting bodily vessel. Travelling through cavities of the installation provokes a disconnect from the outside world but arouses an intimacy within ourselves. Ultimately restoring cohesion by recognizing our own idiosyncrasies. By making the space accessible to people of all ages and ability levels ensures the experience isn’t exclusively bound to those who occupy a utopian functioning body. The maze-like design beckons viewers to create their own path through the vessel in an omnipresent meditative state, heightening a connection with our own body. An initial communal area to lay closely together followed by a solitary one allows a gradual shift in the viewer’s state of mind. Through the space’s architecture there develops a shared empathic experience that solidifies how no one type of person is favored over the other, despite us all enduring largely divergent lives. The Caressed Vessel personifies the perfect dichotomic balance between fragility and power that our bodies possess but that we might not always recognise in ourselves.

site analysis

I chose Bay 23 as the location - being one of the largest spaces at Carriageworks. It is adjoined by Bay’s 22 and 24 which make the whole location a lot more expansive than just the area the installation is inhabiting. The work is not reliant on natural light so having it indoors ensures its structural integrity allowing a longer duration and the ability to be held during the evenings. This more sheltered environment is also a lot more comfortable for viewers to be when they are waiting to enter and creates a more of an encounter before you even enter the space.

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Bay 22-24 Carriageworks, image by Zan Wimberley (2019)
Bay 22-24 Carriageworks, image by Zan Wimberley (2019)

sketches

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main chamber

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interior perspective

individual chamber

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storyboard

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Entering Carriageworks Bay 23 you can see installation set up in the distance, creating a sense of anticipation.

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Entrance of the installation before stepping into the first chamber.

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Exit the installation.

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Entering Carriageworks Bay 23 you can see installation set up in the distance, creating a sense of anticipation.

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The encounters were deliberately designed to consider how they can be experienced with equal enjoyment by conventionally abled and non-abled bodies.

sensory map

entrance

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exit

PINK

Sound was designed to be the most omnipresent sense that accompanies you along the whole journey through the vessel. A muffled humming and heartbeat track will play to provoke a certain experience that envelops and numbs you. Playing from the centre, it beckons the viewers into the space and follows them to when they sit alone in the individual cavity.

BLUE

Touch is our first language, the first sense we acquire. It is a layered silent interface with the material world - the tactile sense delivers tangled impressions of temperature, texture, pressure and resistance. Visible textures applied to the surfaces of the cavities entice viewers to touch the space both with their eyes and hands.

GREEN

Smell is the invisible sense. Their experiences are fleeting and we don't have an established vocabulary to describe it. It is also a very effective trigger of visceral memory. In the space I wanted to have a warm earthy smell emanating from the centre. Memories associated with this simple fragrant scent will hopefully be positive and tigger a calming reaction.

model

The main design feature was the draped ceiling with cushioned floor which gives a sense of calm and like you’re being enveloped. The purpose of the individual capsule is to promote personal reflection. I tried to encourage the privacy of the space with a curtain that would close off the cavity and numb you to the outside world.

tecnical drawings

section

elevation

plan

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