We would like museum visitors to have an understanding of rituals performed in Japanese tea ceremony. In addition, we would want visitors to have a tranquil and introspective experience, which speaks to the four principles (harmony, respect, peace & tranquility) in tea ceremony. By bringing in different sensual stimuli, this design also aims to encourage visitors to build connections with other people and the nature.
Teahouse Museum Experience
Brief: A school project about designing a museum experience. The design is an immersive Japanese tea house that aims to enable museum visitors to have a non- traditional experience of Japanese tea ceremony through learning the story behind.
Team: Hamid Namid, Liya Zhu
My role: Ideation, Sketching, 3D modeling
Visitors can smell the smell globe to know about the nuance between the smell of different tea and same tea in different maturity stage. As they smell and inhale, the interactive floor underneath displays the corresponding tea flower blossoming.
Visitors enter into a relatively dark environment, with light emitting from the floor. Room is installed with hanging tea wares used in tea ceremony and glass globes that contains substance with different tea scent.
Interactive floor simulates surface of water and responds to visitors movement on the ground with water waves. Water surface design facilitates in creating a safe and tranquil environment.
Each tea ware contains a sound player and motion sensor. As a visitor approaches and leans close to a tea ware, volume of the sound will turns up from whispering to clear audible sound. There are varies types of sound, ranging from having tea master telling their story of how and why they choose to be a tea master, to sound from the nature such as bird chirping.
BEHIND THE SCENES
The process of experience design is different in that it is hard to do research with people, and prototype the experience. We used a variety of design methods to gain inspirations and explore design possibilities.
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Critical design deals with the unconventional methods, provoke designer’s design idea. It might appear as uncomfortable experience which wouldn’t fit in a traditional museum but we hope to gain a critical perspective about our design from this experience. Here, we aim to explore an unrealistic space surrounding our design that helps us thinking about all other possibilities.
One important aspect in Japanese tea ceremony is that people participate in certain rituals and drink tea to gain tranquility and spiritual richness. Water plays an important role in these rituals.
We take the experience in aquarium as an inpiration. In our critical design, people are invited to dive in a pool to experience the feeling of being a tea leaf. Being surrounded by water, participants take this opportunity to experience the purification, tranquility, in harmony with nature part, and develop a respect for the tea ceremony.
By thinking and probing into the impossible, we were able to reflect on the essence of Japanese tea ceremony which is to have spiritual richness, and inner peace.