During the COVID-19 lockdown period we were in conversation with Auckland Live as to how they could put their new digital screen to use post-lockdown to help connect people within the city as as well as across the country and potential internationally.
After the lockdown was lifted we responded to an Auckland Live RFP for an public-space artwork that would act as “a playful and imaginative response to public safety and physical distancing in Aotea Square.”
Our response was ‘The Space Maze’. Conceived as a playful way to draw people into the square, let them have a playful experience when crossing the square, and as a way to meet and interact with strangers, it was also designed to help people maintain social distancing.
Patterned into a cross-shaped grid of footpath stickers, the maze incorporated three specific activities:
- The Kindness Wordfind – a set of 27 words in both English and Te Reo hidden in the pattern
- The Maze of Arrows – two mazes created from traveling in the direction of diverging arrows, trying to avoid dead-ends to find the exits
- Colour Racing Trails – four pathways of different colours for people to race each other on
The pattern also provides a template for anyone to play on, making up their own games, running, jumping and chasing their way across the colourful landscape.
To enhance the experience of the physical installation, we partnered with the digital animation magicians at DOT DOT, who created a looping projection of short animated scenes based on the patterned maze. This was projected on the white construction wrap surrounding the Aotea Centre each evening across the duration of the installation.