The Wonderdoor is a company that aims to use the natural and immersive experience to design and share a happy and relaxing world. The Wonderdoor also works as a medium through which visitors experience an actual happy and innocent world. “Pureness Happiness And You” is their exhibition in a desert, to remind people not to forget the pure feelings in themselves, to live and rest well.
* Project Type B.A. Graduation Project
* Duration Sep. 2020 - Jan. 2021
* My Role Designer
* Tools Cinema 4D, Adobe Suites
This project aims to design and share a happy and calming world with visitors. The exhibition is in a desert, and visitors enter the world by passing through "The Wonderdoor", just like entering through a magical dimension door. The Wonderdoor is a medium through which people experience an actual happy, innocent world. Nowadays, people focus too much on digital media, with digital life permeating our lives on a daily basis so most rarely experience the world through our senses, leading us to an impoverished understanding of the world. The exhibition uses real, immersive experiences to make visitors experience the world directly through the senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch. This aims to provide an antidote to the fast-paced society and ever complex reality that easily make people tired and lacking in heart. This relaxing world offers a sanctuary to temporarily escape from reality and give visitors time to slow down, relax, and feel happy. The purpose of the project is to remind people not to forget the pure feelings in themselves, to rest well, and to live well.
This project's topic is inspired by my bachelor thesis, Designing "Happy": What is the role of "happy" in visual communication design? This thesis presents a new conceptual idea of designing "happy" that goes beyond only visualisations of happiness. The non-stereotypical way of designing "happy" is to innovatively design so-called "happy conditions" that make people truly feel happy through interactive experiences. The thesis helped me to be aware and think of the significance of naturally being "happy". The Wonderdoor is, furthermore, based on the concept of designing "happy". It prepares the immersive experiences comprised of interactions with the senses to build an actual happy world that can be felt. It's ultimate endeavour is to make people unconsciously feel happy and at peace. The use of colors in this project was also based on my thesis, that saturated and harmonious colors are related to positive emotions.
I started my project by imaging and exploring the mood boards for the overall design style and the logo.
I already had in mind what kinds of colors I wanted to use after completing my thesis. My ideal overall color impressions for this project were saturated colors and harmonious colors. I found out in my thesis that those kinds of colors had more relationships with positive emotions.
It was the mood board for the logo, and I aimed to express the idea of the dimension door through the logo. There were tons of movies and books about dimension doors and time traveling, and there were also many designers creating their projects on similar topics of it.
My next step was to think about the exhibition's ideas after changing the concept from future imagery to realistic. I needed a building medium to make the exhibition happen. I did many inspiration viewings and researchings, and then I decided to make it happen in a desert, and you can find the explanation in the Final Result section later.
I picked some mood board elements and research as my references to start to sketch my logo. I wanted to explore different visual aspects as inspirations and played around with them. Below, I did some first sketches based on those inspirited ideas with the old name of this project: "Fortuinity Happinss Door", and in some sketches I tried to achieve a smiling face in certain way.
The first cuboid idea was from the famous film 2001: A Space Odyssey produced in 1968. The second visual elements I gathered were from the visualized model of the four-dimensional space in the mathematical system (Norton, 2001). The third idea of round shaped elements could be found in many science fiction novels and films. I picked three examples as my inspirations. The first example of the round shape was from the most famous and influential science fiction novel in China, called "The Three-Body Problem" by Liu Cixin. The second example was from the famous film from Marvel, "Doctor Strange." The last example was from a visualized model of the one-dimensional model that could be considered the start of the universe (Norton, 2001). Also, some guesses stated that the whole universe was actually like a sphere (Choi, 2017). They all used round shapes to illustrate the dimension door and express the relationships between time and space.
After that, I upgraded my ideas from the first sketches and decided to focus on the 4:9 rectangle from 2001: A Space Odyssey as my main conceptual foundation. I created more logo ideas with more abstract shapes. I aimed to illustrate two worlds in those ideas, and they interlaced/ intermingled/ connected/ contained each other through the door.
I designed my inside installations with the design style I chose before. Those shapes were inspired by the natural shapes of trees and flowers. I illustrated 2D graphics based on plants' pictures and then made the 3D models in Cinema 4D. Those were some examples from my illustrations as references to my 3D installations. As yu can see below I created my patterns from plants themselves, and I tried to amplify each picture to find the soft natural lines and shapes in every detail.
After 1-2 months of brainstorming, creating drafts, explorations and adjustments, my graduation project was done with graphic and 3D designs. A kind reminder, some explanations below for design results will be a bit long, and there will be how I thought and why I made certain decisions.
People can enjoy the world by going out and away from the city's noise. I hope visitors can temporarily forget their lives with digital media, calm down from daily worries, and give themselves some time to rest and care for their true selves. The desert is so broad that it seems to stretch to the horizon, the exhibition building is quite obtrusive to the open space in the desert, but it is like from another world. I hope visitors can have a unique and relaxing experience in the exhibition and on the road to it. This exhibition provides a place for people to rest and offers a way to invite people to go out to nature. The desert I choose is the Black Rock Desert in the USA, and it is also the desert where Burning Man Festival is hosted every year. People can see tons of artistic masterpieces on unique topics from designers worldwide at the festival. People can freely express their creativity or themselves without restrictions, and it is like eight days of dreams. The desert is the carrier to make it happen in the best solution.
There is a cloud-shaped floor surrounding the building. I aim to create a feeling of the unknown unique world above the clouds where people can get peace. I also leave some flat roads for disabled people with wheelchairs to also go through the clouds to the door. The door's size and shape are inspired by the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is also my inspiration for the logo. It had a big success with profound impacts in Philosophical & Poetic Science-Fiction Films, Production Design & Visual/Special Effects and music (Vulture). It gave people a lot of space to think about the relationships between humans and space and human evolution. This film was so interesting for me, and the mysterious power of the black monolith attracted me a lot.
The outside appearance of the exhibition is made by the reflective metal, so the colours of the appearance will be changed by different time or weathers, the appearance will reflect different light.
I was always interested in nature and exclaimed how unique and powerful nature was. My inspirations were from the natural shapes from trees and flowers in nature. I caught many beautiful forms from nature and artistically exaggerated them to design the installations. Nature can make pie calm and deliver peace to my mind, and it is where I can be cured. In my opinion, the best rest is not at home, it should be done outside and in nature. I want to express the relationship between nature and the human and show the natural shapes differently, like they were from another happy relaxing world. Furthermore, there are rarely many alive plants in the desert, so the world and the outside desert have a strong contrast. I want to create the sense of substitution, and bring the colors and plants from another world into the desert to make it alive.
The logo is also inspired by the film 001: A Space Odyssey. The idea is to make two doors from different worlds and dimensions interlace each other and then merge together.
Visitors can buy the pillows in the store inside the exhibition and bring the good memories home. They can see them every day at home, and remind them the experience in the happy world, and then remember to live well and rest well. They can also use them to decorate their homes to make it lively. If they can't find the shape, color or style they like in the store, they can order and customize them from the shop assistant. The customized merchandises will be delivered directly to their homes.
What difficulties arose and
how were they overcome?
My grandpa went to the heaven
to meet his parents
My grandpa went to the heaven to meet his parents. The start of the project was a really tough time for me. My grandpa passed away, and I had a difficult time to process the event, and to concentrate and start the project. It was the first time in my life to experience the departure of a loved one, and because of Covid-19 I could not go back home to see him for the last time, nor could I go back to stay with my family to keep them company in this hard situation. I was even more sad and felt guilty. But I knew that I had to learn to accept it and move on. There is no solution, only time will heal. I will love him, deeply in heart, and always remember what he often told us: always live well and happily.
For this project, I decided to learn a newsoftware Cinema 4D, which attracted me a lot and I always wanted to learn. I really enjoyed learning a newtechnique while designing a project, although it was a really tough experience. It was the most complicated software I have encountered, and I dedicated a lot of time to watching tutorials for modelling, textures and lighting,and exploring C4D by myself, playing around with different techniques and effects.
Not only was the learning aspect a bit complex to understand, the actual process of designing 3D sometimesexceeded my abilities as well. In the case of modeling, for example, sometimes I did not know if there was anything I did wrong, but the things that turned out just was not what I intended them to be and I had to go back andcheck every detail which constructs the model. In addition, I did lots of draft exports before the final results cause I was so struggling with lighting. Lighting was also one of themost challenging parts for me. Each picture was rendered in approximately 20-30 minutes, so I took a lot of time to figure out the ideal lighting set up and camera direction, and rendered them over and over again to find the bestsolutions with the compositions I liked. Even though I often became stressed and annoyed by those reasons, I felt so satisfied after solving problems by myself.
Good things happen when you connect
© 2022 Gabby (Lieyijia) Du