Responses by Leigh Sachwitz, founder, and Kirsten Bayer, managing director, flora&faunavisions GmbH
Background: The process started during Germany’s first lockdown. Together with the client Deutsche Telekom, we developed a space that provides us with optimism and peace, and delivers solutions for a challenge that became even more present during the pandemic: Digitization of our future educational system and a society where every member is equally respected and heard no matter what background. Therefore, the project itself is available to everybody.
Reasoning: The main driving force behind the Magenta Moon Garden installation was to create an environment, which gives visitors the opportunity to discover and interact with nature and with beauty in a playful way. The night and day garden is about resetting our current mindset and creating a healing environment where nature and digital technology are fused together. By adding the gamification aspect into the experience, we tried to raise the topic of digital education and how the young generation can learn about important topics like sustainability, technology and fake news while being fascinated and moving around in an immersive space. We were thinking about how classroom in the future could look in a digital society.
Challenges: The technology, game and interaction mechanics, and the architecture and planting were highly intertwined, so they influenced each other. Therefore, everyone in the cross-disciplinary team had to work closely together. For some, this could be seen as a boundary, but we saw it as a challenge to experiment within the boundaries and come up with solutions that worked. We also had to stay in the budget with a tight time frame.
Favorite details: We are proud of the fact that we did make an impact. With Magenta Moon Garden, we raised some challenging topics that our society is currently facing: Digitization for everybody, the future of learning, solidarity, and inclusion and civil society in the digital age. All of these topics are addressed in the installation and in the education game To the Moon! In the pop-up campus, those topics were addressed further in talks, workshops, sessions and webinars where visitors and remote participants of every age could exchange ideas, gain inspiration and convey hands-on knowledge. Guests left the space full of joy, new ideas and optimistic views that everything will be alright in the end. All of this was only made possible by this truly beautiful collaboration with our client and partners.
Time constraints: The time frame, in general, was challenging. It wasn’t easy to find a suitable location and, therefore, we only had eight weeks for the production of the media content, interactive development, technical and architectural concept and planning. And then, we just had two weeks to build the space into the location, which was just a building site when we first started! In the end, you need to be effective regarding the internal and external processes and design development. You need a dedicated team that shares one vision and is willing to put all their heart, time and dedication into it.
Alternative approach: We would try and merge the different aspects even more, and take everything to the next level. In general though, we are happy with the results and the fully booked workshops, school events and immersive experience says the same for our visitors.