‘Enter The Jungle’ is an immersive interactive museum exhibition that aims to recreate a personal experience that I had while I was serving the Singapore Armed Forces back in 2010. Its overall visual aesthetic is reminiscent of an unforgettable memory that I had while I was stuck in the jungle over a period of five days and armed with only a rifle, torchlight and water. My ultimate goal in this exhibition, aside from wanting to recreate the jungle experience for its viewers, is to make them feel as vulnerable as possible in the dark and not knowing what to expect next.
This university project started out with a brief that required me to create a personal annual report in the form of an interactive experience that could be encountered in a museum. The only requirement is that it should be based on an existing memory or an experience that can be conveyed to the target audience.
But how do I begin designing something or creating an 'experience' when I am unsure of who my target audience is and their behaviours?
Who am I designing this for?
It is crucial to know who I am designing this experience for. As a starting point, I visited various museums in Melbourne including the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks as well as the Melbourne Museum in order to gain an insight of its visitors. I was mostly interested in the key demographics for the visitors and their user behaviours. I kept a mental note of the way visitors interact with various exhibits as well as the type of exhibits that they found to be most engaging.
I summarised my findings in the form of two User Personas that will be helpful in determining my design outcome. Some of the key insights that I have found was that most visitors love to roam and navigate through the museum independently without much guidance. In addition, they perceive the museum to be a place where they can learn and try out new experiences that they can then share with their family and friends.
User Persona 1: Roland
User Persona 2: Patrick
With a rough idea of who I am tailoring this experience for, it definitely made brainstorming for concepts a much easier process. Here's what I came up with:
Concept 1: One Identity, Many Experiences
In a nutshell, this concept primarily focuses on my self-identity since birth and the memories that has helped to shape the person that I have grown to become. The main design will primarily feature a large silhouette of myself that will be made up of tiny photos of my family and friends set at random. It is essentially a deconstruction of my self-identity, which shows that my family and my friends played a huge role in shaping my self-identity.
Concept 2: Enter The Jungle (Selected Concept)
Like it or not, every Singaporean son shares this one unforgettable experience - Serving the Singapore Military Armed Forces - that ultimately shapes them into a fitter, stronger and independent version of them. Upon turning the age of 20 years old, I was enlisted into the army where I served for two years of my life. Being away from my family during the week and only seeing them during the weekends for two years gave me a lot of unforgettable moments in the army. However, there was one memory that stood out from the rest and that was when I had to survive in the dark jungle with no one but myself. In this concept, I wanted to recreate my jungle experience and let visitors experience what I felt at a point in my life where I felt most vulnerable.
As depicted in the wireframe below, the exhibition will take place in an enclosed room. In order to make the overall experience as immersive and as realistic as possible, special sound effects will accompany the exhibition. The exhibition will comprise a total of five screens - A Jungle Floor (Ground), Three screens that represent the jungle surroundings (Jungle Walls) and The Night Sky (Ceiling). Further information regarding the various screens are outlined below.
01 - The Jungle Floor
The Jungle Floor’s screen design will feature a bunch of fallen and dead leaves on the ground. The leaves are interactive and visitors are able to sweep the leaves over to the side or just step on them. It has a motion tracking device attached to it so that it is able to detect a viewer’s presence and plays a special sound effect of the rustling of leaves on the ground. Additionally there will be hidden ‘Trigger Zones’ all around the ground that will be triggered whenever a viewer steps on it. Upon stepping on it, the surroundings of the jungle (Screen 2,3,4) will be changed unexpectedly. By doing so, the viewers might feel vulnerable and feel a sense of afraidness/curiousity of not knowing what to expect next. Upon stepping out of the ‘Trigger Zone’, the surroundings automatically resets itself to the default dark jungle surroundings.
02, 03 & 04 - The Jungle Walls
The Jungle Walls consists of three screens that depict the jungle and its surroundings. Sometimes, creepy red lights might appear in the dark to give an illusion to the visitors that they are currently not alone and that their every move are being watched. Once triggered by the viewer in the hidden ‘trigger zones’ , the screen design animates and changes unexpectedly in order for the viewer to visually see the experiences that I went through while in the jungle. Special sound effects will be accompanied with every experience. The experience and sound effects are as follows: Heavy Rain (SFX: Thunder and Rain), Flashbang (SFX: Loud Explosion), Infestation of Ants all over my body as I slept at night (SFX: Insects crawling) and having eyes looking at me as I slept at night (SFX: Animal Sounds).
05 - The Night Sky
The Night Sky’s screen design will be set on an intergalactic background, featuring a bunch of glowing blue circles floating around. Its design is abstract, for it is a representation of the night sky and the stars above us. Every individual glowing blue circles are a symbol of personal thoughts that went through in my mind during my experience in the jungle.The blue circles are highly interactive and they are able to expand and reveal my personal thoughts upon being touched and will consequently dissipate into smaller bubbles.
The action diagram below demonstrates the overall user flow process of the jungle experience from beginning to end.
Below is the sitemap of the overall jungle experience.