First Virtual Design Experience at London Design Festival: Somerset House - Odyssey

Designer Tino Schaedler of Optimist Design joined forces with director Nabil and their company United Realities to create the first VR experience at the London Design Festival as part of the Ten Designers at Somerset House. Within one of the historical rooms in the West Wing, a black turbine sculpture was installed that established striking juxtaposition to the classical architecture of the existing room. The interactive installation served as a digital portal that played with the bounds of our perception – redefining the relationship between the physical and virtual space.

The founder of LA based design studio Optimist Design, Tino’s background as an architect moving into art and film design combined with Nabil’s VR direction transcends the traditional conception of spatial design and explores the intersection of film, architecture, augmented and virtual reality to create an unchartered means of story-telling and a tool not normally used in the design world.

The duo’s first appearance at the London Design Festival was also the first VR design experience at the Festival. They created a platform for visitors to become immersed in the transition of the room and question the definition of time and space in the context of digital communication. The fibreglass sculpture sits on an elegant smoked mirror pedestal with a VR helmet positioned above a leather seat for the visitor to use and experience a new and fantastical transformation of the room. To complete the immersion, the team collaborated with sound designers Nordmeister from LA, to enhance the experience with spatial sound design.
‘We want people to think about this space from an emotional perspective,’ explains Tino, Optimist Design. "The goal is to create a art installation that takes us to a new place using VR that we can't go to in real life, while simultaneously showing the potential of this platform to create deep emotions that involves visual, sound and tactile senses. The viewer will be right inside the experience, directly connecting the virtual and physical spaces."

A little bit of Hollywood at the Festival

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