Addressing the challenges of contemporary global lifestyles, the installation “Sky Gazing Tower” provides personal space for the public to decompress. A VR environment helps users personalize their private space and design their own tower.
LA – LA Design Festival selected a series of installations that respond to the 2019 Design Theme “Design with Purpose”. According to the festival, “design could be said to be the process of intentionally creating something while simultaneously considering it’s objective, function, economics, sociocultural factors, and aesthetics”. SomePeople proposed the “Sky Gazing Tower”, an installation that aims to provide personal space to people who live in crowded urban environments and face every day challenges such as social anxiety, stress, and agoraphobia.
The “Sky Gazing Tower” gives space and time to each individual to stare at the sky alone, while being surrounded by a hanging translucent orange membrane that diffuses the light and creates a soothing environment.
The installation is a low-cost lightweight structure that can be easily assembled and transported. It consists of a white steel frame and vinyl orange membrane stripes that hang loosely from the top ring. The membrane stripes cover the upper part of the visitor’s body, leaving the lower part visible to the public, making clear that the tower is occupied. The translucency of the membrane allows a subtle connection with the external environment while at the same time provides a place of retreat.
A VR environment was exhibited together with the physical installation, giving the visitors of the festival the opportunity to virtually modify the structure and define their own personal space according to their needs and preferences. Visitors can experience the installation in a simulated crowded urban environment and they can redesign the tower until they feel comfortable in it. Each visitor can change the size, color and materiality of the tower using the User Interface in the VR. This digital tool embraces the diversity of the citizens of big cities by allowing them to explore their personal space and redefine its boundaries and aesthetics.
SomePeople is an award-winning design and innovation studio based in NYC. Its work focuses on the application of cutting edge technologies, such as robotic fabrication, VR and User Interfaces, in architectural design and construction. SomePeople’s projects have received several international awards such at the AZ Awards 2018, the Fast Company 2018 Innovation by Design Awards and the YouFab Global Creative Awards 2017 and they have been exhibited in TAB Tallinn Architecture Biennale, the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz, Austria, the Academy of Arts Architecture and Design in Prague and the Bangkok Design Week.
Facts and Credits
VR Developer: Christopher Morse
Photographer: Paul Vu