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Spacial Experiences

Andy Lighton


Contents


Forward

Patient Zero

The Uncanny

Immersion

Urban Exploring

The Facility


Forward


I first thought about design was during my third year at secondary school. My English class was given the task of making a pamphlet on healthy eating. I was stumped. This is so boring, I thought. This was going to be an arduous task which would follow me around all weekend. The project was due in on Monday, today was Saturday and I was spending it visiting family. I had no time to do this project, might as well give up, I thought. As I was sat in the kitchen crudely drawing a barely recognisable character eating some carrots, my uncle Rob walked in and sat down next to me. He took my drawing and asked me what I was doing. After explaining the project to him, he put the picture to one side and beckoned me over to the computer. For the next three hours we sat discussing and planning possible ideas to use. I didn’t know Rob could do this kind of stuff. All I knew was that he worked in London, on something to do with advertising. This was a completely different side to him that I had not seen before. The pamphlet turned out nothing like I had initially thought. There were no images, only text, all on a red background. Each panel of the pamphlet had “DON’T CALL ME…” written on the top, and below was a slang word for overweight. It was brilliant! When I brought it to class on Monday morning, I proudly showed it off to my friends who all thought I would get an F for sure. There were no picture or data graphs, how could this piece of paper with only a few words (and some offensive) expect to pass. The A+ grade that came back that following week was a shocking surprise to all of them. My interest in design started that day and has developed ever since as I have progressed through my education. Throughout my A-Levels I was deeply interested in Graphic Design, and then Interior Architecture during my Foundation Diploma. I chose to progress into an Interior Architecture degree due to the freedom its gives a designer when creating spaces. The design of spaces which people feel immersed and involved within has been a key focal point of my degree. How and why a space can appeal to one individual but distastes another fascinates me greatly. During the last two years at university, I have uncovered an enthusiasm for creating digital spaces. This has been fuelled by my passion for video games. I am deeply driven by my interest of all the aspects of the video game industry, from the initial concept stage to the design development and beta testing to the full release of a game. I enjoy playing a game and breaking down the elements to understand how and why the designer made the decision in order to influence the players’ mind set. My thesis explores the various theories of immersion in video games and their relation to more traditional media. This has helped me to understand players and consumers and to grasp the idea of what they want to gain from playing a game.


Patient Zero Patient Zero is based around the idea of creating a space which becomes more and more unreal as the explorer travels through it. Created using the Valve Source Engine, this 3D space drops the player into an unknown factory, the only way to progress is by traveling forward. The project started with the examination of abandoned buildings and looking at areas which have been left to the elements. This informed the design choices when creating the structure. I wanted to create the feeling as if the player was being watched by something

unknown. A light fog is used to hide objects in the distance. This leaves people exploring the space wondering what is up ahead, due to everything only being visible by a faint outline. As the player moves, things get more and more surreal and unstable. Objects explode randomly as they are passed by, walls move when approached and the world around seems to move with the player.


Interior Sketches When designing the factory complex I looked at a number of games to influence me; namely the Half Life 2 mod, Black Mesa Source. The creators of the mod essentially recreated the original Half Life game in the Source Engine. I looked at the interiors createdm how they networked the various corridors and rooms together. This page shows some initial sketches that were drawn in relation to the beginnings of the factory. The idea was to force players through the centre of the room driven by the explosions created as they passed by.


Principle Elements The narrative is based around a character that has been tormented and imprisoned. This psychological scaring has left his mind twisted and warped. He does not see the world for what it truly is but a formation of his past memories. As the player makes his way through the environment they encounter scenarios from the protagonists’ life. Opening doors reveal additional objects which relate to memories. Towards the end of the exploration, the buildings separate from each other creating a surreal experience for the player.


The Uncanny The Uncanny is a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be strangely familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time. This results in the individual feeling uncomfortably strange. I shot a short film aiming to recreate this atmosphere for the viewer. The film follows a strange figure which appears on screen throughout the course of the film. His face is covered and wears a long cloak. We see his travels through the wood in which he dwells. The film cuts between the perspective of the shady figure and an explorer who has found themselves lost in the woods and

is being stalked by this character. The film is intentionally vague as to obscure what perspective the shots are taken from. A super 8 effect is used to create a familiar yet unfamiliar atmosphere whilst the camera pans through the wooded area, the audience never knowing exactly when the strange character will appear again.


Igor Igor was the name given to the sculpture that I made during the second year of my degree. It was constructed by binding together a series of unused and broken objects. His hands are made from knives and forks that were found in a junk shop. Igor was a response to research into the Uncanny Valley. This is a theory that relates to the perception of human replicas. It is the understanding that when a human sees a human replica, that being a robot or 3D animation, that look and act almost, but not perfectly human, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers.


Immersion An analysis into how successful video games are at creating an immersive experience for the player to explore. How is this achieved in comparison to traditional mediums of storytelling?

Thesis images credit to deadendthrills.com


The state of immersion can be considered present in almost any medium. It is, in essence that state of being deeply engaged, involved or absorbed. An individual can immerse themselves in the pages of a novel, the characters in a video game or the environment which a film presents. The thesis aims to establish the many different forms of techniques that are used in both traditional and modern media to immerse audiences into the worlds that are created. The thesis discusses how an audience is able to integrate themselves within a video game, book or film. Within the video game genre, immersion is created primarily through three methods of immersion; Strategic, Tactical and Narrative. These three methods attract a particular type of audience who look for specific qualities in a game, such as storyline, rewarding skill and reacting to obstacles. When looking at video games, many aspects of immersion span from the competitive aspect. Players see video games as a competitive battleground, where they are able to face off against one and other to see who the better individual is. Games create a sense of competitiveness in order to draw in the players need to compete. Narrative is also a key concept used in all entertainment media. If the audience is able to relate to the characters and the setting of a film or video game, they will be more likely to become immersed into the fictional worlds. Films tend to use strong narrative and character development to influence the audience, whereas video games add to this method with the use of choice and character progression to aid immersion. The thesis explores the idea of a ludonarrative, which gives players full control of the outcomes of the story. The theories of narrative theorist, Vladimir Propp are also discussed with concerns to characters within video games and film. His theories are also discussed with reference to narrative in traditional theatre and the audience immersion within the genre. Games also present players with extremely large, free roaming environments to explore, which lead to their audiences becoming lost in the folklore created by characters and text left to read. Numerous games use a fantasy setting, where people can create new lives to live, and others offer dystopian visions of the future. Social interaction in video games is a very important part of the immersion process. As people meet others through their exploration of large spanning universes, they create friendships and bonds that stay with them throughout the gameplay. Players become known as the characters they are playing, not as the people they really are. Immersion is personal to the individual. A person can be immersed in one form of media and not at all in another. Video games add a layer of interactivity to the storytelling. Players can manipulate it and change it to suit their particular play style, a very different method from traditional mediums.


Urban Exploring Urban exploring is something that I always have been interested in, but never had time to do until university. Eastry Mental Hospital was the most exciting place that I visited. We arrived early afternoon and proceeded to climb a fence and into the gated off area. The hospital itself has mostly been cleared out and the large rooms have been left to vandals.

looking through the remains of the structure, looking for hints and clues as to what sort of lives the people lived while under care.

My aim for the visit was to capture the atmosphere created by this dead space. Through photography I captured the rooms which had been left to decay. Some of the photos feature images of people caught

The central common room of the hospital. A number of chairs had been left here which had all been stripped of any coverings.


One of the upper level rooms, a patient treatment area. Light flooded the room where the room had completely collapsed.


To the rear of the complex we found a small outhouse. Papers littered the floor describing the states of the patients under care during operation.


The Facility The Facility is a project looking at the idea of hiding a building within an existing structure. The initial concept came from looking at the City of London and the numerous conspiracies connected with the area; those conspiracies relating to mass control of the public. The buildings intention is to indoctrinate people into a “model citizen�. The existing building is located in Queen St, London, used as an office space. The facility is hidden within the void space located at the rear of the structure. Access is granted through a series of hidden doors and a concealed lift shaft.

The Valve Source Engine was used to design and build the facility. Construction of the facility has been limited to the bare essentials for a more authentic atmosphere. Steel beams support metal frame floor panels which provide access to prison units in which subjects are stored. Lighting and noise is kept to a minimum as to not attract any attention from the office spaces. The basement level of the building is used as a research and prep area, where subjects who have finished treatment are prepared for release back into society.


Facility Pod Units The facility pods are the focal point of the design. They are used for housing the subject whilst they are undergoing treatment. The interior of the pod is designed to be self sufficient, with limited maintenance required. The pods are attached to the walls of the facility and may extend back and forth to allow access to staff. The units are able to be taken off the wall and be moved around the building with the subjects still inside. Soundproofing in the interior holding space repels noise which may awaken subjects.

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Exterior steel panels

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Mobile wall mounts

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Viewing area

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Removeable steel panels

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Side supports

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Additional extendable mounts

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Power supply

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Oxygen and waste tanks

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Extention mechanism

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Locking system

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Soundproofing interior

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Subject holding area

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Subject viewing area

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Interior lighting

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Zoning Diagram The main structure of the facility is contained within a void space behind the existing building. The void is located above a private car park for the office works of the building. Entrance to the facility is granted through three different locations. The first is through a service door on the ground floor outside the building. The second is a hidden passageway concealed in the toilets on each floor and the third is a twisting wall panel which allows access to a corridor of the facility. Employees of the facility are able to move around the different sections without being detected by the outside world.

Sixth Floor

Fifth Floor

Forth Floor

Third Floor

Second Floor

First Floor

Ground Floor

Basement


Explorer Tracking To inform my project I conducted a great amount of research into the tracking of particular groups of people. The urban explorers are a group of individuals who typically meet online and post images of the spaces they have visited. I used this information to plot routes through London identifying the places that were visited and the methods used to gain access. This information informed me of route planning of the explorers. It was used to help identify the narrative between the group of conspirators in the City of London and their would be subjects.

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Big Business

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The conspiracy of the city of London varies from person to person. The most common theory is that the City of London is using the finance industry to control the mass market 44 13 and therefore the people of the UK.

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I wanted to take this one step further and create a space that would be used to physically manipulate the minds of any people disobeying the commands of the conspirators. These people would become husk of their former selves and will perform mindless tasks for the facility for the rest of their lives.

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Ashurst

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Lovell White and Durrant

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London Mental Exchange

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Allen and Overy

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Rowe and Maw

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London Stock Exchange

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SECRO Group

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Arthur Cox

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Simmons & Simmons

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Association of British Insurers

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Cottons Centre, Cottons Lane, SE1 2QG

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Barlow, Lyde and Gilbert

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Slaughter and May

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European Climate Exchange

Sullivan and Cromwell

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Association of Investment Companies

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MCCF

Weightmans Solicitors

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105-108 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1EX

British Bankers’ Association

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155 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3TZ

Deloitte LLP

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8th Floor, John Stow House, 18 Bevis Marks, EC3A 7JB

British Insurance Brokers’ Association

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111 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1SE

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29-30 Cornhill, EC3V 3NF

International Financial Services London

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1 Bengal Court, City AndHackney, EC3V 9DD

Foreign Banks & Securities Houses Association

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The Futures and Options Association

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Securities and Investment Institute

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Evolution Markets

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Hunton & Williams

Broadwalk House, 5 Appold Street, EC2A 2HA

1 Bishops Square, New Change, EC4M

12 Gough Square, EC4A 3DW

15 St Botolph Street, EC3A 7NJ

Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FG

11 Pilgrim Street, EC2V 6RW

One Ropemaker Street, EC2Y 9SS

One Bunhill Row, EC4A 8YY

56 Leadenhall Street, EC3 2DX

10 Patemoster Square, EC4M 7LS

51 Gresham Street, EC2V 7HQ

Association of Corporate Treasurers 51 Moorgate, EC2R 6BH

Kroll Associates

10 Fleet Place, EC4M 7RB

18-22 Hand Court, WC1V 6JF

Control Risk Group (off the map)

Hazelwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW

Berwin Leighton Paisner

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1 New Fetter Lane, EC4A 1AN

CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

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Second Floor, 6 New Street Square, EC4A 3BF

Dewey, Lebouef and Lamb

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2-3 New Street Squarem EC4A 3BZ

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Clifford Chance

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KPMG UK

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Eversheds

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Princewaterhouse Coopers

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Ernst & Young

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European Climate Excange

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Tea Brokers Association

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The London Bullion Market Association

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Lovells

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AKE Group

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MF Global

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St Magnus House, Lower Thames St, EC3R 6DX

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160 Aldersgate Street, EC1A 4DD

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1 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, EC3R 7YL

4 Coleman Street, EC2R 5JJ

1 Wood Street, EC2V 7WS

Head Office, 8 Salisbury Square, EC4Y 8BB

Plumtree Court, EC4A 4HT

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Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP

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Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer

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Herbert Smith LLP

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LCH.Clearnet

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Lawson-Cruttenden & Co

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LIFFE

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Linkaters

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ICE Futures

35 Vine Street, EC3N 2AA

65 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1HT

Exchange House, Primrose St, EC2A 2HS

10 Gray’s Inn Sq, WC1R 5JD

One Silk Street, EC2Y 8HQ

Becket House, 1 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7EU (off the map)

Hazelwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW

33 Aldgate High Street, EC3 1EA

1 Cousin Lane, Cannon Streetm EC1Y 4SA

60 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SA

9th Floor, 24 Chiswell St, EC1Y 4YY

2nd Floor, 36-38 Botolph Lane, EC3R 8DE

8 Eastcheap, EC3M 1AE

8 High Timber Street, EC4V 3PA

13-14 Basinghall Street, EC2V 5BQ

Gallery 4, Lloyd’s Building, 12 Leadenhall St, EC3V 1LP

One Exchange Square, EC2A 2JN

RBS Sempra

RBS Sempra Energy Trading Baker & McKenzie

100 New Bridge Street, EC4V 6JA

DLA Piper

3 Noble Street, EC2V 7EE

EEA Fund Management Ltd

7th Floor, 22 Billner Street, EC3M 2RY

36-38 Leadenhall Street, EC3A 1AT

30 St Mary Ave, EC3R 6DU

Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FG

Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6DU


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Ashurst

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Lovell White and Durrant

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London Mental Exchange

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Allen and Overy

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Rowe and Maw

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London Stock Exchange

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SECRO Group

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Arthur Cox

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Simmons & Simmons

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Association of British Insurers

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Cottons Centre, Cottons Lane, SE1 2QG

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Barlow, Lyde and Gilbert

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Slaughter and May

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European Climate Exchange

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Berwin Leighton Paisner

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Sullivan and Cromwell

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Association of Investment Companies

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MCCF

CMS Cameron McKenna LLP

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Second Floor, 6 New Street Square, EC4A 3BF

Weightmans Solicitors

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105-108 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1EX

British Bankers’ Association

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155 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3TZ

Dewey, Lebouef and Lamb

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2-3 New Street Squarem EC4A 3BZ

Deloitte LLP

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8th Floor, John Stow House, 18 Bevis Marks, EC3A 7JB

British Insurance Brokers’ Association

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111 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1SE

Clifford Chance

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Head Office, 8 Salisbury Square, EC4Y 8BB

KPMG UK

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29-30 Cornhill, EC3V 3NF

International Financial Services London

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100 New Bridge Street, EC4V 6JA

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Plumtree Court, EC4A 4HT

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1 Bengal Court, City AndHackney, EC3V 9DD

Foreign Banks & Securities Houses Association

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3 Noble Street, EC2V 7EE

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2nd Floor, 36-38 Botolph Lane, EC3R 8DE

The Futures and Options Association

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7th Floor, 22 Billner Street, EC3M 2RY

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8 Eastcheap, EC3M 1AE

Securities and Investment Institute

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36-38 Leadenhall Street, EC3A 1AT

Broadwalk House, 5 Appold Street, EC2A 2HA

1 Bishops Square, New Change, EC4M

12 Gough Square, EC4A 3DW

15 St Botolph Street, EC3A 7NJ

St Magnus House, Lower Thames St, EC3R 6DX

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160 Aldersgate Street, EC1A 4DD

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1 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, EC3R 7YL

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4 Coleman Street, EC2R 5JJ

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Eversheds

1 Wood Street, EC2V 7WS

Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FG

11 Pilgrim Street, EC2V 6RW

One Ropemaker Street, EC2Y 9SS

One Bunhill Row, EC4A 8YY

1 New Fetter Lane, EC4A 1AN

Princewaterhouse Coopers

Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP

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Ernst & Young

Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer

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European Climate Excange

35 Vine Street, EC3N 2AA

65 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1HT

Becket House, 1 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7EU (off the map)

Hazelwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW

56 Leadenhall Street, EC3 2DX

10 Patemoster Square, EC4M 7LS

51 Gresham Street, EC2V 7HQ

Association of Corporate Treasurers 51 Moorgate, EC2R 6BH

9th Floor, 24 Chiswell St, EC1Y 4YY

Kroll Associates

10 Fleet Place, EC4M 7RB

18-22 Hand Court, WC1V 6JF

Control Risk Group (off the map)

Hazelwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW

One Exchange Square, EC2A 2JN

RBS Sempra

RBS Sempra Energy Trading Baker & McKenzie DLA Piper

EEA Fund Management Ltd Evolution Markets


Floor Plans When planning the layout, I found it paramount to hide as much as possible from the public eye. To keep the spaces as secret as possible, removable panels are used to gain access to lift shafts, doors and facility spaces. It was a challenge to balance the combination of the private facility space and the public office spaces. I also had to make sure that the office workers were unaware of additional rooms in the building. By keeping the main facility in the unused void and the basement it helped to make it as unnoticeable as possible.


Main Entrance The main entrance to the facility is located on the ground floor via a service door. The door is kept locked at all times and monitored by facility staff. The door is used to transport patients into the building securely and discreetly, fitting in with the surrounding aesthetic of the building. The outline on the section opposite shows the space occupies by the facility structure. The existing set of stairs are used to gain access to the building. Access is denied to all office workers of the original building as this would cause a breach in security.

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Facility hub

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Main staircase

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Ground floor

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Basement corridor

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Levels 1-6 offices

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Steel frame structure

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Pod system

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Interior staircase


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Facility Hub The central hub of the facility is where most of the activity takes place. It is constructed from light weight steel beams and grate panels. The faรงade consists of steel plate panelling which allows personnel to work in absolute secrecy. The panelling is designed to allow workers to move freely without the risk of alerting office workers. The structure of the hub is left exposed as to create a dynamic effect between the standard office spaces and the facility itself. When stepping inside it feels as if the building was forgotten and left to decay in the shadow of the offices.

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Existing concrete wall

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Steel sheet penelling

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Steel beam structure

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Metal grate panelling

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Interior staircase

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Hidden staircase

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Main entrance

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Concrete floor


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