Focus: Speculative Experience Design, Illustration, Packaging, Game Concept Design
Team: Project completed with Abbie Coughlin, Mariam Almuhanna, Julia Pala & Izzy Madavan
My Role: Team lead. Concept, identity, illustration, packaging design. App visuals and concept created in collaboration.
Symbiosis is a multifaceted digital and physical experience which accompanies 'Gaia', Luke Jerram's famous Earth artwork, at Moors Valley Country Park during the Inside Out Dorset Festival. Symbiosis serves to encourage children and young adults to engage with the theme of environmentalism conveyed by Gaia.
In Greek Mythology, Gaia is the personification of the Earth. "Symbiosis", a Greek-derived term relating to "the relationship between all living beings", fosters the same sense of connectedness that the artwork and festival want to evoke. Thus, it became the perfect conceptual springboard and name.
Ancient Greek households largely grew their own food. This inspired our collectable seedling kits which represent the distinct personality of our characters. Nurturing a seedling strengthens children's connection to nature, and the plant becomes a longstanding reminder of their day out to see Gaia.
Currently, there is very little for young adults to do at Moors Valley, as the core demographic are families with children under 8 years old.
Co-designing with target users, we developed the Symbiosis App to get those interested in gaming and tech to engage with Gaia and idea of symbiosis.
The Symbiosis app has two aspects to explore:
Players collect and nurture plants, which attract native wildlife, and maintain their own vibrant island ecosystems. Users unite to build an ecosystem together on the Moors Valley community island, and unlock new island biomes as they level up.
Overlaid on their view of the real world, users can rotate and zoom in on a 3D rendering of Gaia to view its beauty from all angles. Enabling the Plant View filter displays the players' unlocked plants from the Symbiosis game in their native location on Earth.
The app, seedling kits and activities form part of the wider system; which includes wayfinding, an all-weather canopy and an accessible Gaia audio tour.
All of these elements are underpinned by the Symbiosis experience's proposition:
Want to see more? Explore the process deep dives: