• Ruben

Yellow Design Cooperation Part 2: Marble Arch

Yellow Design decided that they want to use two of the group projects, our idea of Gulliver’s Travels and another group’s that is themed after the secrets of Oxford Street. However, Yellow Design decided they want a large digital Gulliver statue situated at Marble Arch, instead of a map. Marble Arch is also a 20-minute walk from Cavendish Square. This means little of what we researched around the area of the square is applicable to our new location and we need to redo our historical research. Luckily, the entire class is now split up in two groups to work on each project, which means more hands-on-deck. Unfortunately, they are disappointed that their own projects did not get chosen.

With the new location and requirements, we must come up with new ideas. First, we decided to have Gulliver tied down in a Lilliputian town. The town would be to scale and could be explored by the user of the app. To give it an interactive element and a guideline through the interest points, we thought it would be fun to have a game. Gulliver lost his belongings, and you need to find them! We liked the idea of having oversized objects lying around that would relate to the themes, for example gloves relate to fashion, a watch to history, a quill to literature etc. We also had a pistol, but the Westminster City Council insisted on removing anything that relates to direct violence, war, and death. The game would be played by walking around the virtual city and clicking on Gulliver’s objects on your phone to unlock a new page in Gulliver’s travel journal. The pages are just the original 6 panels from before.

When we presented this new set-up, the Westminster City Council informed us that there will be a artificial hill at Marble Arch as part of the redevelopment project. This means we cannot use about 80% of the area.

Our quick fix to make more space is to have Gulliver sit on marble arch, looking for his belongings. The Lilliputian town is propped onto the hillside and the objects scattered among it. Luckily, we can keep most of our assets we already made and just must adapt the layout of the town. The hill also gave me the idea of putting the Lilliputian emperor’s castle on top of the hill. The council gave us a technical map of the area, which allowed us to plan the layout in detail.

Until now I have worked a lot on the pre-visualization and decided I want to draw more concept art. My overall drawing was well received in the follow-up meeting with Yellow Design and the Westminster City Council. It confirms for me that drawn concept art just looks much better than pre-vis renders and gives a better overview.

All this happened in about a week, so the group was working on a lot of stuff in parallel, basically designing Lilliputian buildings and handing them directly over to be modelled, while others worked on character and prop design and writing the historic information panels.

The design of the Lilliputian buildings is based on a mix between European and Asian architecture. In the book, the buildings are not described in much detail, but the emperor’s clothes are a mix between “European and Asiatic”. The Lilliputians are described as great engineers, so I think they would be able to construct great towers and intricate arches. This is a challenge as European and Asian architecture styles already differ from region to region and time periods. So, there is not one “European” or “Asian” style to draw from. I ended up bashing elements from Amsterdam houses with Chinese pagodas and Indian towers. I would have loved to get deeper into the different architectural styles, but this had to be done in a day. Eventually, I designed the train station of the town, keeping in mind that it would be put on top of the underground station at Marble Arch.

Check out our final presentation. I am confident that we supplied an interesting concept to Yellow Design on which they can build on.

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