waiting and escaping


How can we design waiting rooms and escape rooms simultaneously to enhance our experiences of immersion?

• 30. Sept. - 25. Oct., 2019
• Based at ACUD in Berlin, Germany
• Four weeks, full-time
• Small class of participants

Artist / Student (Full Time)*



In this program, we will set out to design two immersive experiences, an escape room, and a waiting room designed for that escape room.

To be alive is to be waiting for something. But what are we waiting for and why are we waiting for it? With the onslaught of new technologies, we find ourselves waiting even more, often for experiences (AR, VR, etc.), the likes of which are often less than ten minute encounters. With these questions in mind, this program is about waiting and waiting room design from a practical and future perspective as we can envision waiting room design becoming a career of the future. How can we begin to create meaningful designed experiences for waiting rooms that enhance the experience we are waiting for?

This course is fundamentally about designing immersive experiences. What considerations are there when designing for full immersion? When time is of the essence, where do we focus our attention to ensure that the show goes on? What kinds of talents and skills are necessary for such an undertaking?

Finally, we'll learn the finer points of escape room design and take on the ambitious task of designing one ourselves which will be open to the public as part of the final showcase of the program.

This is a very special program made up of brilliant guest speakers, each specialised in very niche and fantastical fields. The full-time course facilitator for this program will be Rachel Uwa, founder of School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe.

in this course,
you will be
introduced to

  • Experience of AR, VR, and escape rooms as examples of how to design
  • Know-how to design your own escape room experiences
  • 3D modeling basics for use in layout of spaces
  • Immersive experience design from conceptual and practical hands-on perspective
  • How to design mechanisms, devices, and puzzles i.e. the art of mystery
  • Hands-on escape room and waiting room design and build-out
  • Considerations for optimal human communication and interaction
  • Fundamentals of Spatial Design
  • Conceptual exploration of waiting
  • Exciting humans working in the field
  • An amazing network and community of like-minded creative beings and potential future collaborators

course outline

Week 1:Introductions, overview of experiences in modern times (VR, Escape rooms, etc.), examples of the current playing field of immersive experiences, playful design. Hands-on prototyping of experiences.

Week 2: Conceptual: How to design experiences, basics of spatial design with Sketch-up.

Week 3: Collecting materials, hands-on building out of escape- and waiting room experience designs for final showcase.

Week 4: Continuation of previous week, finalising escape- and waiting room for public presentation.

who is this
program for?

This program is geared toward anyone involved in creative fields (conceptual artists, architects, designers, makers, builders, visual artists, performers, production workers in theater, film, and tv, etc.) interested in interior and spatial design, and/or designing concepts and rooms for immersive experiences. This course approaches experience design from an introductory level but advances quickly into hands-on practical learning up to final creation. No previous experience necessary.