How to design a believable fictional architectural space?
Coming up with the idea of a commercial for Nissan based on an immersive installation, the creative production team (Woodblock & Polynoid alongside Black Horses & Friends Electric) needed an environment to show it off. They had imagined it contemporary and innovative or even futuristic and abstract, but above all it had to convey a feeling of realism to this TV production.
Design a credible fictitional architecture that can highlight an installation paying tribute to the greatest moments of the UEFA Champions League and presenting two models of the automotive brand Nissan: the Leaf and the Arya.
The global concept:
The main subject of these advertisements was the connection of the driving sensations offered by Nissan with the greatest footballing emotions. For this, the production team imagined an immersive installation composed of a multitude of glass screens of various sizes and shapes displaying the most memorable moments in the history of the competition. This installation is traveled by a car, allowing the spectator to discover these moments of history.
To enhance and bring this concept to life, the environment art was essential. It was necessary to give a scale and a framework to the artistic installation while incorporating in the architecture the distinctive elements of the brand and presented cars
The stake of such a fictitional space is to anchor this virtual installation in a credible landscape, where everyone can find the landmarks of the real world to bring this sensitive experience closer to the real and make it more immersive.
The architecture had to be habitable by man, contemporary, or even futuristic, warm, sophisticated but discreet.
Woodblock, Dark Horses and Friends Electric trusted me for the architectural conception and the production design with 3 guidelines:
Contemporary curved architecture
Architectural details inspired by automotive design
If the curve was a constraint posed by the creative producer, it was also obvious. It reminds the aerodynamic design of cars, contributes to the sensation of speed of the shots and avoids any angle that could distract the sight from following the fluid movement drawn by the installation.
After quick research by drawings, it was necessary to determine the general appearance of the shapes and curves through 3D thumbnails ; then, the general drawing of the building plan. This step was quite quick thanks to a good references job already started by the production team.
In two days, the client agreed with the first design, the main lines of which are still visible in the final building
Once the space was sketched, the lighting came into play. Once again, upstream research quickly led to a conclusive result. The main issue was to find an inclination of the sun allowing a relative darkness in the interior in order to leave a good part of the light space available for the installation. This inclination was also essential so that the direct light underlines the curves of the architecture and contribute to its dynamism.
If the space took shape and light fairly quickly, the work on architectural details required many adjustments. They had to reminds elements of automotive design and bring sophistication to the whole without becoming superfluous or taking precedence over the installation.
We had to find the right balance and that is why the facade, the roof, as well as the wooden elements have known many versions.
From an architectural point of view, the design is based on four principles (if we omit the elementary principles of proportions, relation to the exterior and to the light ...):
Curves and taut lines
Visual continuity of levels
Expansion and compression of space
Reminders of the human scale through constructive details
On the 3D technical side, the whole is made from simple techniques of which I will detail certain elements.
The shapes constituting the structure of the space are obtained by an elementary polygonal modeling defining the contours of the constructed volumes. The use of chamfer and different values of crease make possible to control the curvature generated by the automatic subdivision of the first shape.
BASIC SHAPE MODELING
If the final result is observable on video and its success is due to the awesome work of artistic directors, production designers, creative directors and all the artists involved around a strong concept, the relevance of the fictional space is due to elements that are more difficult to define.
From the overall shape to the choice of materials, the credibility of a fictional space lies for me in the capacity of the environment art to provide the viewer with elements that bring the virtual closer to his own reality.
It can be textures, form, sensations experienced or imagined, a certain constructive realism, details frequented daily ... These elements are all familiar codes to the spectator that will allow him to find his place and feel at ease in a foreign and fictional environment : If I can find my place in this location, it becomes a reality I believe in.
Making a fictitional architecture believable it is giving the spectator the means, thanks to architectural and visual processes, to find a legitimate place from which he can fully benefit from his sensitive experience.
AS NISSAN, YOU NEED TO CREATE A BELIEVABLE FICTIONAL ARCHITECTURAL SPACE ?
DO YOU NEED TO PROJECT YOUR AUDIENCE INTO FICTIONAL PLACES TO PROVIDE SENSITIVE AND MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES ?
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