Designgroup Stapleton Elliott were commissioned to provide Victoria University of Wellington with an interior fitout for their new Computational Media Innovation Centre (CMIC).
The fit-out on Taranaki Street, Wellington, functions as an incubator for digital-design start-ups and as a venue for postgraduate Computer Graphics students to explore and develop their research. CMIC’s goal is to position students at the forefront of the global digital market at the end of their studies. With technological developments ever emerging and the digital environment swiftly expanding, the University needed to create a space that reflected and embraced these new areas.
The design for the CMIC interior draws heavily on of the global direction of Computational Graphics. Influenced by Anime, Virtual Reality and Digital Code, the design mimics the futuristic, sometimes outer-worldly concepts of these disciplines.
A strong visual presence of guiding lines through the interior mirrors the movement visitors travel through the space. Beginning in the lobby, the lines guide people through the studios, modelling rooms, meeting and teaching areas and into the shared kitchenette/social hub.
The colours used throughout this project were intended to carry through the theme of innovation in a digital environment. A base black and white was used to layer statement colours upon. The entry greets visitors in Resene Bokara Grey and Resene Black White with Resene Uracryl 402 Clear.
Pops of blue and purple complement and offer opportunities to explore a tangible experience of the digital in physical form. Resene Plum was an ideal choice for this project particularly because of its boldness and futuristic connotations.
Colour was used to define and reinforce future exploration and adaptability of creative research spaces, defining backdrops for experimental visual research to evolve.
In the lobby of the CMIC the walls are panelled in cedar stained with Resene Colorwood Rock Salt. The stain softened the timber’s natural colour and modernised the aesthetic. The finish of the timber is juxtaposed with a pure white, angular reception counter, in keeping with the Centre’s desire for the avant-garde.
The guiding graphic, laid on raw concrete finished with Resene Uracryl 402 Clear, contrasts against the refined finish of the space. The guides draw people through the interior, with one of the first deviations being the Capturing and Modelling Lab, painted in its entirety Resene SpaceCote Flat in Resene Black. It’s a rarely used colour scheme but central to the functionality of the space and a daring architectural statement. While the black enables the motion capturing equipment to function at its best, the colour also provokes a sense of drama and possibility. Void allows for nothing but innovation and discovery. The black wall graphics and the black walled space further extend the metaphor of the impending ‘future reality’.
The communal space is where the design has truly allowed for digital play. Purple has long been recognised to represent creativity and ambition, complementing the drives of CMIC students, and this has been captured in Resene Plum using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen and Resene Imperite.
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