Volume Creative, in collaboration with Virgin Voyages, invites visitors to Take The Plunge, with a playful installation at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, as part of London Design Festival. The interactive project shows how the power of design can evoke curiosity, in a stand-alone immersive experience where visitors are invited on a journey of discovery into an abstract world (the minimalist exterior juxtaposes with the warmth that awaits within). Visitors step into an endless horizon, giving way to an extraordinary secondary space is depictive of a sunset under the sea, the whole concept having been inspired by a love of the sea, the great unknown, and the promise of epic discoveries. Take The Plunge hints at this spirit of adventure and celebrates the endless possibilities of great design, using multi-sensory techniques to capture the joyful elements of an oceanic journey.
On first sight, a black matt and gloss chevron motif fills the street level window. Visitors put on protective bamboo socks to walk alongside the black patterned walls, before stepping down past vertical clusters of white tubes. This leads to a bright white corridor, called “The Pathway of Discovery,” that has been designed to dazzle. Walls of vertical white tubes elongate the space, and mirrors create an endless horizon. Secret sounds of whispered message play via directional speakers. This creates a moment to pause for reflection, both figurative and literal.
The extraordinary secondary chamber, depicting an imagined sunset under the sea, is revealed next. It is filled with clusters of suspended tubes, and cocooned with even more. The chamber is coloured with a rich sunset ombré of coral and crimson, and features a moving light installation. Within this chamber, an ambient soundscape is played, called ‘”Ocean of Plasticity” by artist Adrian Newton, whose work focuses on using sound to explore the relationships between people and the environment. The composition is a response to the ocean plastic crisis, and explores what a marine ecosystem might sound like if completely transformed by plastic. The piece is also a reminder of the need to change how we value the objects we buy, if we are to transform our relationship with nature, and the sounds featured in the exhibition were all sourced from plastic objects found on a beach in southern England.
Take the Plunge suggests the spirit of adventure, the beauty of the sea and, at its heart, celebrates the endless possibilities of great sustainable design (all the elements in the installation are recycled, recyclable locally, or will be repurposed). A Special Project for London Design Festival 2019, you can visit it at Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf. It is open daily 10am – 8pm, from 14th – 22nd September 2019.