Scratching my itch

My name is Emma and I’m an addict.

I have a problem. There we go. Yes, I admit it, a problem. I’m a pleasure seeker. I’m addicted to getting high. 

No, not that kind of high.

I’m talking about the thrill of a wonderful new immersive experience. The type that whisks me away from the mundanity of life and forces me to become someone else, just for an hour or two.  That makes me think about what happened way after it finished. A story that lingers and bleeds into my real life almost without me realising. Perhaps even changes my perception.

Whether its dreamlike promenade theatre, hallucinogenic VR or an escape room with a set so real it feels like you’re in a film, I’m always searching for my next sensory stimulation. I want to feel like I did at The Drowned Man by Punchdrunk. Like a curious child on an adventure of a lifetime. 

Blending my bits

I’m a User Experience Designer, I design interactive stuff for a living. I’m interested in people and how they use and experience those things.

Over the last decade, I have worked with startups, entrepreneurs and R&D departments designing new kinds of digital experiences.  I love exploring emerging technologies and I’m pretty good at making connections and spotting opportunities for design.

I also make surreal comics and love playing with words and images, ideas for strange situations and unusual characters. What I love the most is the clash of two existing ideas coming together to create something new and unexpected.

So, what if I combined all of this?

A blender mixing up my skills

Could I spot opportunities for new kinds of strange and surreal immersive experiences? Could I use my unique way of thinking, storytelling brain and interaction design head to collaborate, mixing the physical and digital? Could I scratch my itch?

My journey, warts and all

As I embark on this journey of experimentation, collaboration and no doubt many failures, I invite you to watch and comment from the sidelines. As I try to understand what makes an experience truly immersive, I would love to hear from people that already work in this area or like me are trying something new. I would love to connect with likeminded potential collaborators.

I have never made any physical interactive things, props or designed any sets. I’ve never written an article before, but I’m planning on writing about it as it happens.

Recipe for a car crash. Perhaps. 

I hope not.

Emma Smith

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