Pressing Play is an architectural design proposal for repurposing spaces within an existing underpopulated shopping mall in the City of Melbourne. The proposal suggests a combination of program, design and technology to create a new model for retail. The atelier model of making is celebrated in combination with the hackerspace model, where workshops and shared tools are a feature of the entire basement level space. A storefront is provided in the levels above, where featured products and meet the creator events happen.
The pillars that pierce through the 3 levels of flooring are wrapped in LED screens, are used as wayfinding and means to connect people entering the building with retailers within the mall. The top sun-filled level is turned into an immersive space with a cocktail bar.
The secret garden bar consists of 2 spaces, the first being an entirely synthetic environment, a digital garden. The garden consists of a series of smaller spaces mediated by digital media and synthetic materials, uneven floor spaces and ceiling heights - a campfire, a treehouse, an underbrush etc. Lighting and sound from one space pierces through to the other through various materials and cuts, connecting spaces and surfaces. The second space is an organic space, filled with plants, natural materials and organisms. The audience spends time as well as interacts with the first space, where motions and gestures are recorded and processed, feeding into the visuals and sound over time, lingering till the next group of people coming through. They emerge from the digital garden and enter the organic space, greeted by a mixologist making elixirs based on data from their journey.
The Secret Garden Bar