100 colors + white, concept and design Emmanuelle Moureaux, Tokyo, September 2013. 

This exhibition is the launch of the ‘100 colors’ series, which emmanuelle plans to expand in different cities around the world.

Japanese paper manufacturer, Takeo Co. Ltd.
Paper manufacturer for Europe and USA , Procédés Chénel International (class A fire rated paper for ceiling applications).
Photos : Daisuke Shima / Nacasa & Partners.

The Fourth Wall

Considering the fourth wall in the user experience:

The fourth wall is the imaginary “wall” at the front of the stage in a traditional three-walled box set in a proscenium theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play. 

The idea of the fourth wall was made explicit by philosopher and critic Denis Diderot and spread in 19th-century theater with the advent of theatrical realism, which extended the idea to the imaginary boundary between any fictional work and its audience.

The term “fifth wall” is often used by analogy with the “fourth wall” for a metaphorical barrier in engagement with a medium. It has been used as an extension of the fourth wall concept to refer to the “invisible wall between critics or readers and theater practitioners.” This conception led to a series of workshops at the Globe Theater in 2004 designed to help break the fifth wall. The term has also been used to refer to “that semi-porous membrane that stands between individual audience members during a shared experience.” In media, the television set has been described metaphorically as a fifth wall because of how it allows a person to see beyond the traditional four walls of a room.

Society of Experiential Graphic Design:A multidisciplinary community creating experiences that connect people to place.

Society of Experiential Graphic Design:
A multidisciplinary community creating experiences that connect people to place.

James Lee Byars, Untitled, 1959. Ink on Japanese paper on scroll. On view June 15–September 7, 2014, MoMA PS1.

James Lee Byars, Untitled, 1959. Ink on Japanese paper on scroll. On view June 15–September 7, 2014, MoMA PS1.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights opened on June 23, 2014, in Pemberton Place Plaza, 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Atlanta.


Read more:

Edward Rothstein, “The Harmony of Liberty: National Center for Civil and Human Rights Opens in Atlanta,” New York Times, June 22, 2014.

Catherine Fox, “National Center for Civil and Human Rights trusts in the power of design to tell its stories, inspire visitors”, ArtsATL.com, June 23, 2014.

Chuck Reece, “The National Center for Civil and Human Rights,” The Bitter Southerner, June 2014.

Sandra Nuut: The Future of Fashion Museum, May 2, 2014. From the Lingua Franca 2014 D-Crit Conference at SVA MA Design Research, Writing & Criticism.

Fujiko Nakaya: Veil, 2014, fog installation. The Glass House, Philip Johnson, 1949, New Canaan, Connecticut.

As part of a fundraising campaign, two can spend the night at the Glass House and have ten of their favorite guests share a farm-to-table dinner for the tidy sum of $30,000.

Disney vs. Museological & Cultural Exhibitions

In the age of mass consumption where exhibitions are viewed as part of the entertainment offering, more and more designers and museums call for immersive experiences to create greater sense of wonder and to attract wider audiences.

Optimally, an exhibition resembles a total immersion. What could be more exciting than being completely absorbed mentally, shutting out everyday life and experience a whole new world through the exhibition? […] Walt Disney was a masterly creator of immersive environments. The Disneyworld attractions are in fact 3D film projections with completely fixed routings and sequences of scenes, and nothing has been left to chance or to individual imagination. The Disney imagineers control it all: the route and often even the means of transport that guide the visitor through the experience. However, the impact of these experiences is short lived, notwithstanding their obvious quality and professionalism. They fail to shed light on anything new, nor do they invite reflection. For Disney, the event and its immediate experience are paramount. Regarding museological or cultural exhibitions, this addresses the need for finding substantial after effects.

Herman Kossman, Narrative Spaces: On the Art of Exhibiting, p.86.

Related blog: immersion that leaves room for individual imagination.

Georges Didi-Huberman and Arno Gisinger: Nouvelles histoires de fantômes [New Ghost Stories] (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, February 14, 2014-September 7, 2014).

We experience our present through the combined movements, the montages of our memories (gestures we make toward the past) and those of our desires (gestures we make toward the future).

Georges Didi-Huberman and Arno Gisinger: Nouvelles histoires de fantômes [New Ghost Stories] (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, February 14, 2014-September 7, 2014).

We experience our present through the combined movements, the montages of our memories (gestures we make toward the past) and those of our desires (gestures we make toward the future).

Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves, 2010 (MoMA, NYC, November 25, 2013–February 17, 2014).

Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves, 2010 (MoMA, NYC, November 25, 2013–February 17, 2014).

T. J. Wilcox: In the Air, 2013 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 19, 2013-February 9, 2014).

Our perception of a present is a hybrid of personal memory, historical record, family lore, political, social, national, and artistic histories and mythologies.

Photograph by Bill Orcutt. 360 camera by Freedom360.

T. J. Wilcox: In the Air, 2013 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 19, 2013-February 9, 2014).

Our perception of a present is a hybrid of personal memory, historical record, family lore, political, social, national, and artistic histories and mythologies.

Photograph by Bill Orcutt. 360 camera by Freedom360.

Immersion: reality* set to produce enhanced, intensified experience.

Herman Kossman, Narrative Spaces: On the Art of Exhibiting, p.86. The text below is loosely quoted from the same source:

In the context of exhibition design, the challenge is to immerse the visitor in a narrative that does allow some room for individual imagination!

Why? Because the visitor still needs to be able to relate to the narrative/exhibition, relate in the way that they can become part of it, without losing their own identity. It all comes down to credibility! In other words, immersion with critical distance.

This is the type of immersion that actually touches the visitor. It makes the visitor “look again” at what is presented, it makes him leave the exhibit as a different person, changed!

This is where immersion is notably at play, because it doesn’t require the reality of the place to be completely detached from everyday life, but it does demand a fair amount of deviation. This is crucial for the narrative of the poetry of the place to touch people. As such, exhibitions need to be places of singular, memorable identity. Like books or cinema, they establish environments for a story. In books and cinema, the environment is a virtual one; in exhibitions it is real.

*alternative artificial reality, which is by no means unreal.

Narrative Spaces: On the Art of Exhibiting, by Herman Kossman, Suzanne Mulder, Frank Den Oudsten.

Narrative Spaces: On the Art of Exhibitingby Herman Kossman, Suzanne Mulder, Frank Den Oudsten.

Designer interview: Interview with David Rockwell.
By Donna Pallotta.