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Mental Health Awareness Week. Thrive Digital Garden

Jon Bancroft, Creative Director
Thrive Digital Garden - purple flower

To mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, VCCP has organised a range of activities for everyone across the partnership and our clients to get involved in.

Everything from mindfulness seminars, to painting classes, and session on financial well being, as well as the introduction of numerous new initiatives that go beyond just the week itself.

But one very special part is the transformation of one of our largest collaboration spaces next to the Bernadette studio.

The space has been transformed into a relaxing immersive experience with projections and soothing sounds, where you can take a break from work and relax.

We were asked by the team organising the event to get involved in making that space - how could we make that a truly de-stressing experience.

Thrive Digital Garden - Green flower

So much is going on in the world with the pandemic still part of our lives, the war in the Ukraine. And then the stresses of work, and in my own life having become a dad not so long ago and adjusting to that - all the joy but all the unknowns as your life changes. Things can get the better of you.

So I really wanted to take the opportunity to contribute and help. Mental health is important.

Thinking about how to give people an immersive experience while also being an experience that is calm, but interesting, is no easy task. At Bernadette immersive experiences typically these days involve AR, or VR, gaming, or a real need for active engagement from our users. This was a tricky one… we want people immersed, but not needing to actively engage. We want people to just get lost in it.

We started off exploring this with ideas that quickly we realised were really interesting and a great production challenge but were over complicated interactive concepts and 3D sequences. Pieces that required users of the space to pay too much attention. Which would defeat the point of the experience. Immersive but calm design solutions were needed.

In the end, in collaboration with Audio Visual hardware magicians Blue Elephant, and the VCCP Thrive team. I directed a subtle, yet impactful and beautiful motion piece to be the heart of this immersive space for our team and clients to enjoy unwinding in.

In a dimly lit room amongst the pillars and steel beams of our old factory building space. Piano music soundtracks slow hypnotic organic movement and growth of plants and flowers across nine 8 foot high connected LED screens as you sit in the middle on bean bags and cushions.

Who knows we might end up keeping it.

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