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A Living Entrance

What if spaces interacted with us like people do?

Our life-size interactive installation The Entrance, hosted by Het Hem in Zaandam, is the first public offering of Living Lab: an internal artistic research project that investigates and expands our concept of Living Spaces through a series of experiments.

Exploring how spaces can evolve from static to dynamic environments animated by technology, each one of our Living Lab experiments zones in on a single attribute of a space.

Led by artist and director Roel Wouters, the Lab team started at the beginning: deep diving into the entrance, exploring it further as a species, a filter, a portal, drawing attention to its specific qualities and the emotional spectrum we may feel upon entering a space. Just like meeting someone for the first time, it can be intimidating or it can feel warm – and it all unfolds in a fraction of a second. Working from a shared interest in the spaces we operate in, we collaborated on the installation with artist Johannes Offerhaus, whose work explores the intersection of fashion and architecture.

For one night, visitors were invited to experience The Entrance, listen to an artists talk with Johannes and Roel and take home a zine dedicated to the research behind the work.

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The uncertainty of this first encounter is the beating heart of The Entrance, inviting us to enter a space that sees us back and forms an impression – just like any human would. The installation transforms the entrance into a theatrical event, heightening the anticipation and reveal of the moment with a ramp and curtain.

As the visitor steps up into it, they will begin to hear two voices in conversation. One is the gaze of a biologist, interested in the physical aspects of the subject, while the other adopts the voice of a sassy fashionista, focusing on cultural signifiers and dress codes.

"But let’s not ignore that tousled hair, honey. Giving us a whisper of boyish charm with a dash of rebel"

"Her arms relaxed yet subtly charged, suggests a comfort with her surroundings, paired with a light trace of anticipation"

Our interactive installation revolves around the first encounter between a person and a space, reimagining the entrance as a sentient, witty being that responds to your physical presence.

Voicing what might ordinarily stay hidden, this Living Space has a spicy character designed to encourage play and connection, prompting friction rather than offer a seamless experience – the hallmarks of a Living Space.

Working off Charlie Holtz’s AI demo to bring it into a physical setting, the installation uses OpenAI’s GPT-4 – the AI model that can analyse images and reply to textual questions about them – to observe an image of each visitor with a detailed prompt that requests a dialogue between two imaginary characters.

This narrative dialogue is then sent to ElevenLabs, an AI voice generation service, to bring the conversation to life between two computer voices. The humorous dialogue is underpinned by the preconceptions present in the datasets the GTP is trained on drawing attention to the social prejudices embedded within GTP but, maybe secretly, also in ourselves.

The Launch of a publication, titled "The Entrance," marks the beginning of a series of zines designed to emphasise our effort to understand what living spaces can be.

Download your copy here.

Random Studio Living Lab
Johannes Offerhaus Roel Wouters
Creative Concept, Experience Design, Art Direction, Spatial Design, Software Development, Creative Technology, UI & Motion Design, Installation design

Other work