My Chance Encounter at HASSELL

by Festival's Feet on the Street



This immersive and interactive space creates a place which takes the audience into a uniquely playful and exciting world.

The Chance Encounters installation is an interactive space spanning three sections of HASSELL’s Shoreditch studio. The crafted experience uses white ribbons to divide regions whilst delivering the audience a sense of becoming ‘lost’.

The overall aim is to evoke a feeling of unpredictability through immersive experiences, using digital technologies along the way. By encouraging the audience to interact with both the installations and the space itself, the idea is to get involved and play with the objects.

Walking into the first space, I was immediately greeted with a table with pictures of blue squares and hands projected onto the surface. On touching the table, the installation reacts with hands springing into life and throwing virtual balls at the squares. This satisfying interaction is close to playing a fully immersive, digital version of air hockey, with the ball’s movement being guided by the movement of your hand.

While the table reacts to touch and movement with a series of light displays, a second installation gives the audience an audio experience. Within this space sounds play and change, altering their pitch and tone in response to how high visitors hold their hands.

These are just two, though, in a whole series of installations exploring the poetic moments in life that come from accidental meetings, observing the space around you and how design can be the catalyst for unexpected collisions.

On the day I visited I spoke to a number of visitors, one of whom reacted to the experience by saying, “This space is so imaginative, I love the feeling of immersion.”

While on one level, the installations come together to inform how digital technology - and in particular digital design - can craft an experience, there is a deeper takeaway. The true essence of this space is that the installations allow people to meet and connect with others by having fun together and sharing the same experience.

Written by Mizuki Matsui


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