Rooting Failure

Rooting FailureA participatory installation challenging the notion of failure.

Awarded with SPATIAL PRACTICES PRIZE 2020

UAL : Central Saint Martins

Featured at BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL 2020: VISION

The Crypt Gallery, Bloomsbury, London

21-25 October 2020

Featured on ARTS THREAD

Featured on CSM STORIES

 

Inspired by Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Rooting Failure is an interactive installation challenging common understandings of failure. By taking a self-exploratory walk through the subterranean spaces of The Crypt Gallery in Bloomsbury, London, participants undergo a journey of recollection, discovery and revelation that examines the human tendency to hide disappointments, in the process demonstrating how sharing vulnerability fosters social empathy.

The burden of being continually successful especially confronts students and young workers aged under 30 years, who face expectations to comply with the ruling market-led demand for perfection.

The aim is to open up a conversation about failure in a time in which it is either unspeakable or subjected to the capitalistic imperative to dress the outcomes of all actions in the garb of success. In this way, failure, as an essential component of character development, may be de-stigmatised in a results-driven, fear-stricken society.

The project started as a critical reflection about how we represent ourselves in the digital and physical contemporary society aiming at always appearing successful and flawless. This has led to extensive research on sociological and psychological studies on the concept of failure and self-representation and social research on the perception of failure among people. Along the process I was driven by the goal of creating a design piece encouraging reflection that would unfold through a bodily experience that had a materiality in space.

Rooting Failure aims at combining intellectual reasoning with spatial interaction by creating an environment of acceptance of failure throughout a physical and emotional journey.

Rooting Failure is original in the blending of its fundamental traits, it deals with an intangible subject in a tangible experience where people are the protagonists interacting and modifying the space with their presence and connecting emotionally with it and the topic. The environment talks with a solemn tone of voice. It refuses the ironic take used by a large part of the analysed case studies and it tells a story of accepting failure, without focusing on what has to occur after it. 

The concept development and its unfolding onto the space are based on different spatial and narrative theories.

The analysis of Freytag’s Pyramid allowed me to define the dramatic arc I wanted to achieve through narration. The identification of the five phases plus the inciting incident of the pyramid helped me to define the six stages of the experience and the relative intensity of emotions that I wanted to convey to those who experience it. Starting with the sequence of the moments, the desired emotions and their positioning in space was fundamental to define the details of each part in a consistent way. In the experience, the involvement of people grows in the central part of the crypt, with the threads’ interaction and the immersion in the three rooms symbolizing the feelings of failure, and reaches the maximum intensity in the Raft Room through the discovery of a new environment that promotes the acceptance of oneself and others. 

 

The study of the structure of Le Corbusier’s Architectural Promenade was fundamental in defining the narrative function of the crypt’s subspaces, making the path coherent in its development. People cross a threshold both narrative and physical, encountering the poster which initiates the narrative universe of Rooting Failure and crossing the door of the crypt to bodily immerse themselves in the phases of the experience. The elements in the entrance, which has the function of the vestibule, work as an introduction to space. The central action takes place in the corridors and chambers that have the function of the questioning, requiring people to make a physical and mental effort to cross them. In the Raft Room, reorientation takes place as physically turning around the poem written on the sail and discovering its double meaning creates a moment of reflection and openness to new visions. The culmination of the experience takes place in the Hallway through the written exchange of personal stories and opinions.

Architectural Promenade

In the following videos you can see the user journey and the environments visualizations. 

The following booklet contains an extensive analysis and explanation of the whole project:

MANE Work in Progress Show 2020

MANE Work In Progress Show 2020Narrative meets Exhibition Design

Projects are laid over a unique angular yet soft landscape, inspired by natural geometric forms. The environment, modular and tessellating, can be adapted to form itself around objects.

The exhibition is organised in three realms – Transformation, Connection and Reflection – and it takes the visitor on a reflective journey through the discovery of each graduate project. Plinths and elements are placed inside a colored grid that from the wall to the ground defines the exhibition landscape and identifies the realm explored by each project.

 

Unique As a Snowflake for TEZENIS

Unique as a SnowflakeChristmas Window Display X TEZENIS

In this live project in collaboration with TEZENIS, realised during the MA Narrative Environments, we have been asked to deliver an innovative design for the windows of the flagship store in Oxford Circus for the Christmas season that communicates the brand’s values, attracts people to enter the shop, is easy to assemble and disassemble and has a low environmental impact.

In response, we have developed the creative proposition “Unique As a Snowflake”: a simulated a winter storm, a whimsical journey of self-discovery in which a variety of beautiful snowflakes highlights the brand’s diverse offering during this cheerful time of the year.

The proposed design is composed of different layers that make it easy to assemble and extremely flexible. The components are four: the printed graphic background, the snowflakes made from a support frame and the undewear to be displayed, the snow and the vinyls to be attached to the glass. Moreover, the support frames are designed to be reused after the window display has been removed, in fact they can be transformed into individual hangers to be used inside the shop.

The concept was developed on the basis of solid research carried out to fully understand TEZENIS’ brand identity. The main objective is to communicate in a joyful and young way the variety of products offered. Typography and copywriting are designed to resonate with the target audience and attract people to step in and rediscover the brand. The visual language is elegant and at the same time trendy and inventive. The colour palette is characterised by the juxtaposition of the muted colours of the drawn elements and the bright colours of TEZENIS underwear. Functionality was an important driver, in fact the design was conceived with space optimization and low cost budget in mind. Moreover, the fact that the main element of the display case can be transformed and reused adds value in terms of sustainability.

snowflakes

Interior Re-Design for UCLH

UCLH Children’s A+EInterior Re-Design of the Accident and Emergency Department.

In this live project in collaboration with the University College Hospital London, realised during the MA Narrative Environments, we have been asked to re-design the Childrens and Young Adults A+E department to create a truly patient-focused and age-appropriate environment that provides a welcoming, uplifting atmosphere that alleviates the anxieties of patients and their carers when visiting the A+E.

In response, we have developed a proposal to redesign the children’s A+E into a place of intentional relaxation, to alleviate the anxiety and stress of not only the patients and their parents but also of staff.

Taking inspiration from one of the most culturally embedded symbols of relaxation – water in all it’s forms, movements and sounds, the design includes a wave room with an air bubble wall, enclosed river seating, a rain room with rain sticks attached to the wall that children can activate, puddle tables and cloud chairs. The colour scheme is muted yet uplifting and relaxing.

Each element has both functional and narrative value. The colours and graphics help to create a visually identifiable environment by helping patients and carers to easily find the area of the hospital to go to and at the same time create an appealing environment for children who feel so protected and welcomed. The furniture offers various relaxation activities inspired by the shapes and sounds of water – there is the possibility to play with the wall elements, draw and even cuddle with their parents in spacious, private seating.