What work of fiction do you think could inspire a great visitor experience?

We recently wrote about an immersive theatrical dining experience based on Roald Dahl’s The Twits, and a stage show version of popular Nintendo game Dragon Quest. In light of this, we asked designers which books, games and films they would like to see translated into a visitor experience?

Sarah Clarke, projects director, Mather & Co
Sarah Clarke, projects director, Mather & Co

Not to give away the average age of our design studio but we think our deep-seated love of cult 1980s movies could make an amazing visitor attraction. Who doesn’t want to fly on a bike with ET in front, go Back to the Future in a DeLorean or shrink in size to meet Gizmo face-to-face?

Just think how great it would be arm yourself with proton packs to fight the Marshmallow Man or journey through the labyrinth to the goblin city.

With strong cinematic plots, iconic music and amazing special effects that live on in our memories well beyond they should for grown adults, this decade of movie magic could translate into an experience with mass appeal.


Wayne Hemingway, founder and director, Hemingway Design
Wayne Hemingway, founder and director, Hemingway Design

I would translate horse racing game Escalado onto a local high street, get people riding large fibreglass horses while groups of volunteers turn a giant cog which makes a giant plastic sheet vibrate and the horses move forward.

This will mean nothing to 95% of people reading this, but for those of you who have never played one of the greatest toy games ever, get onto Ebay and buy yourself one in full working order. It will cure your Pokemon Go habit, period!

It will make our high streets much more vibrant. Town centres need giant Escalado to take up the Woolworths and BHS slack.


RAA_PhilipHughes_creditVanessaHogge
Philip Hughes, director and project director, Ralph Appelbaum Associates

A book I read recently that would be a cool visitor experience is David Egger’s The Circle. It’s about how a young woman finds a job in Silicon Valley with a company like Facebook or Apple (perhaps The Circle refers partly to Foster’s new building for Apple).

The visitor experience is a kind of digital journey from ordinary small town life – through a series of transformations – to a crazy world of total digital connectivity, where every piece of information has to be shared and every experience is transformed into data.

The data is endlessly churned by algorithms and represented by an almost obligatory social media.

As a visitor experience it would start with an ordinary home from the 1980s and end with an immersive digi-scape where data surrounds you, weaving into your life and shaping a strange and often unwished for destiny. Like Dave Egger’s book, it would be strange but all too familiar.

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