Finalist 2021

Deeper than thirst

Alysha Magro / Swinburne University of Technology / Swinburne School of Design, Photomedia

An immersive and interactive multisensory installation that explores the human connection to water that runs ‘deeper than thirst‘.

'Deeper than thirst' is an immersive and interactive multisensory installation that explores the human connection to water.

Water holds immense power and value. It accounts for the existence and function of all life.

However, humans lack recognition, therefore appreciation. In first world communities access to clean water is largely taken for granted.

The installation encourages and stimulates self-reflection and mindfulness, guiding participants to explore their relationship with water. Striving to push audience members to become more accountable, conscious and responsible and take action towards conservation.

Design Brief

Design Problem:
Water is quintessential to life. It holds not only the power of survival but possess the ability to shift and alter ones holistic state.

Water is complex, yet pure and individuals within first-world societies overlook their connections, access, daily interactions and relationships with

Intended Outcomes:

  • Showcase water in various forms, shapes, sizes and settings.
  • Create an exhibition space that uniquely engages members to reflect on their own personal connection and relationship with water. Inspiring them to become more mindful and aware of how they are altered by water.
  • Engage people to become self-aware of how their feelings and thoughts change towards different forms and settings of water.
  • Highlight the versatility of water and thus the changing of human connections to different forms.
  • Provoke people to develop a deeper sense of gratitude towards their accessibility to clean water.
  • Create a space that is immersive, engaging and interactive

This project was developed by:

Design Process

COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns positioned a unique focus on documenting my daily interactions with water. Research was collected through various surveys and interviews which questioned over 50 people about their connections and relationships with water. This was conducted online using various visual and written prompts.

Visual content was generated through self-documentation of my daily routine. Collected images and videos were further manipulated and enhanced to engage participants to recognise water in new perspectives.

'Deeper than thirst' showcases water in multiple forms and settings. The installation encourages and stimulates self-reflection and mindfulness, which guides participants to explore their relationship with water and the spaces and settings of interaction; provoking them to question their singular and personable relationship with water.

The installation features sound, movement, touch and visuals to form a multisensory experience, uniquely captivating and maintaining one's attention. Through the use of projection upon numerous surfaces in an outdoor environment accompanied by crafted soundscapes, participants are immersed in the space.

The projection-based exhibition engages participants in thought-provoking, participatory ways, provoking new perspectives on seemingly mundane habitual practices, such as taking a shower or even washing the dishes.

The central message of this exhibition rests in water’s unique preciousness. In first world communities, access to clean water is largely taken for granted. This installation strives to push its audience to become more attentive, accountable and responsible and take action towards conservation.

Design Excellence

The fabric entertains the projections and moves with the breeze of the wind. The strips of material catch the wind and can engage in fluid-like movements. Sometimes calm and gently swaying in the breeze and other times erratic and out of control. Much like the waves of the ocean.

Mirrors capture snippets of detail and provide unique viewpoints. The reflection of the mirrors physically represents the notion of one looking into their own relationship with water.

Audience members can make contact with the projections, but not the physical element of water itself.

The two-sided installation represents another element of connection through the visual transitions. The forms of water may vary, but they all share the same makeup.

The projections are deeply calming, familiar and also unsettling at times. Soundscapes heighten the experience and create an immersive setting.

The experience is designed to be a personal journey of exploration and the outdoor, open-air setting allows for participants to be immersed in a socially distanced safe manner.

The outdoor setting highlights the crucial link between human society and the natural realm.

Design Innovation

In first world communities, people have more interactions with water than they recognise. There is commonly an expectation that every time a tap is turned on, clean water will pour out. However, research has highlighted that over 700 million people lack access to clean drinking water across the globe.

The outdoor installation is a formulated space that showcases the beauty, versatility and power of water through projection, movement and sound in the hope of igniting one's awareness to clean water accessibility.

The exhibition space brings together both common visuals of water alongside unusual extended forms. Engaging audience members to gain a new perspective and appreciation.

Design Impact

The fabric and installation frame used were saved from landfill.

Eco-friendly Epson laser projectors were used to reduce energy consumption. Laser projectors are more energy-efficient lasting up to 20,000 hours compared to conventional lamps which last between 3,000 - 6,000 hours.

Epson Laser projectors create a higher quality of light and draw less power.

All equipment and materials used in the production of the exhibition can be used again to feature other artworks or graphics.

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