One of the unique experiences revealed at the London Design Festival 2021 was an immersive virtual reality installation by Sou Fujimoto and Tin Drum. Named after the famous figure in Greek mythology, Medusa allowed visitors at the festival to experience a fluid relationship between virtual and physical worlds. As guests walked through the space with VR headsets, the structures around them changed in real-time.
“Mixed reality is a medium well-suited to a collective experience, which can be instrumental in helping audiences develop deeper, more personal connections to art and performance,’ says Yoyo Munk, the director of Medusa. “A tin drum production allows for audience agency, fluidity, curiosity, and presence because the audience is present in the space, sharing and observing their reactions. You cannot achieve that same agency and intimacy when you replace your physical reality with a virtual one.”
Though the name Medusa might conjure images of a frightening woman with a head full of snakes, the installation is also named after the scientific term for jellyfish. The designers were inspired by the jellyfish’s unique form and use of bioluminescence. “We liked the idea of a figure of life that finds this balance between something that is beautiful, attractive, and dangerous,” describes Munk.
The collaboration also provided architect Sou Fujimoto a new medium to explore the ideas he is known for—namely, the relationship between nature, architecture, and experience. These ideas, paired with the signature mixed reality skills of Tin Drum, make for an unforgettable experience.
If you enjoyed this project, be sure to check out the other interesting installations and projects that were showcased at the London Design Festival 2021.