Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Tin Ring Experience_ Degree Thesis

Liberty Thompson

Year 4 Interior Environmental Design

Thesis Project – The Tin Ring Experience

Contemporary Context

It is vital to keep stories from the past alive to learn from and help future generations. The Tin Ring recites a powerful story from the Holocaust.  We experience history in museums, exhibitions, books, film/TV and computer games to a certain extent but as we will never experience this first hand it is difficult to fully understand in today’s society. This is not to say we don’t know how it feels to go through adversities and life struggles, however today’s problems are often extremely different. In The Tin Ring, Zdenka Fantlova describes how her extraordinary strength and hope encourage her to persevere in the darkest times.

This thesis aims to enable us to relate to these parts of history at a deeper level to increase awareness and interest. Research and development have highlighted the importance of involving all generations of people, design and technologies to create a spatial experience which allows young people to learn, elders to remember whilst learn from contemporary design and technology (including social media, film and audio media, and live feeds and filming). The visitors are photographed at points throughout the exhibition, allowing them to become part of the exhibition and creating a memory bank of ‘history’ for future generations.

The combination of architecture, installation, film and audio media, interaction and performance come together to create a fully immersive exhibition. The thesis also questions gallery spaces, as to why they are designed in standardized ways, and how are exhibition spaces changing? As design and culture evolve, spaces where these exhibit are too. Exhibition space design can be as powerful as the exhibition itself, which this project has explored.

Content of Project

Based on the book The Tin Ring, by Zdenka Fantlova, a Jew in WW2. She takes us on an incredible journey on how hope keeps her going when at deaths door. Through exhibition design, her story is conveyed. To enable people to understand at a deeper level, the spatial experience focuses on how in today’s society we can relate to such situations, by comparing to such in the contemporary world. Combining different aspects of design, from media to installation, the exhibition enables the visitor to tell their own story. The fully immersive spaces help us engage and inspire us for our futures and generations to come.

How the project relates to my future directions and how can it be applied and developed?

Creating immersive experiential spaces is my passion. Film,TV set and exhibition design are the areas I intend to focus my future career. By developing my skills in concept designing, drawing and developing, as well as model making, material investigations, filmmaking and editing etc, I will be able to apply these in the art department whether in researching, concept drawing, developing and on set. Learning new techniques such as lazor-cutting, sublimation printing and improving my computer skills is something to bring the workplaces often less aware of such.

Explanation of the project to a general audience

The exhibition design is based on the book The Tin Ring, by Zdenka Fantlova, a Jewish victim in WW2. We follow her story of hope and strength through the war. The exhibition design tells her story to today’s world by relating such experiences to such in contemporary life, so we can learn, be inspired and keep the story alive for future generations.

Site-specific for The Lowry Centre,  the design creates a relationship between the architecture of the space and the exhibition. It queries typical gallery space design and the ‘how and why’. Combining architecture, installation, film and audio media, interaction and performance unites the past, present and future, whilst allowing the visitor to become part of the experience and tell their own story.

The visitor journeys through Zdenka’s story in six stages, based on interpretations of The Tin Ring. Upon entering the space you travel through freedom, restriction, confinement, deterioration, trapped and saviour – before entering the inner survival kit zone and cinema zone – where you can reflect on your journey in the photobooth. Finally, the future zone allows visitors to connect with the world on in a live newsfeed environment. The fully immersive spaces enable us engage with stories of the past and present whilst inspiring us for our own futures.

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