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Masters of Fine Arts in Interior Architectural Design
from the Edinburgh College of Art
Spatial Experience Workshop: The Element of Crime by Lars von Trier 2012, Year 6
Sketch of an early idea for the culmination of the installation. International Masters of Interior Architectural Design (IMIAD) Workshop in Lugano, Switzerland
The culmination of the IMIAD Program was a two week workshop for the students from all six countries. We were divided into groups of roughly ten, and given a space and a movie. As a group, we had to come up with a way to recreate the atmosphere of the movie into the given space. My group's movie was The Element of Crime, by Lars von Trier. A dystopian, dangerous film, The Element of Crime is filled with anxiety and suspense. Our space was an old macello, or slaughterhouse, and it retained the uncomfortable atmosphere of its former life. We recreated the atmosphere of the movie by thrusting the viewer into a towering black space from the bright Swiss sunlight outside, and making them immediately walk across a surprisingly bumpy terrain covered by a reflective tarp. The tarp emulated water and was accented by a dripping sound echoing around the room. Once the viewer arrived at the glowing structure, they moved around the back to see a green light reflected in a mirror. A green light was used in the movie as the only point of truth and we used it as the culmination of our experience.
An image taken during construction showing the shadows and reflections of the lighting on the space.
Details of installation; (L to R) Image from inside the glowing structure showing the material on the translucent panels and wine bottles; Image showing crushed brick down the centre of the room, later covered in plastic; Image showing a test of the translucent material on the glowing structure.
Sketches showing early ideas.