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ikd

Boston, MA

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View of Inside A Star Filled Sky and Diamond Trust (Photo by Thomas Willis)
View of Inside A Star Filled Sky and Diamond Trust (Photo by Thomas Willis)
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IKD Exhibition Design Transcends “Just Background”

Boston firm IKD has created the exhibition design for The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer, now on view at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. It is the first-ever solo show in the US dedicated to a video game designer. 

The main gallery showcases four video games—never meant to be experienced by a crowd or even displayed in a museum—by independent game designer Jason Rohrer.

Kim and Itakura, founding partners of IKD, devised ways to translate Rohrer’s games into large-scale, engaging experiences that reflect Rohrer’s initial concepts and emotions. “We played the games over and over, talking through how we felt while playing them, and tried to figure out which ideas were the conceptual crux of each of them,” they said. 

The immersive, sculptural installations use raw plywood as the primary building material. Under a Star Filled Sky, an arcade-style shooter game that plays with ideas of scale (or the lack thereof), fractals and infinite recursion, was designed as a pixilated modular space that disorients the player and blurs the boundary between the space of the installation and the space of the game. The installation consists of intersecting square planes, some glowing from blue LED-laced mirrored panels—the familiar light emanating from video screens that experts say interfere with circadian rhythms and sleep-cycles. 

Another game, Diamond Trust of London, is a turn-based strategy game with similarities to Euro-style board games. Its installation is a take on a traditional Victorian courting bench, with plywood boxes arranged in an S-shape that bifurcates the entire main gallery. It allows players to play on Nintendo DSs next to each other without seeing one anothers’ screens. The bench also acts as gallery seating.

“Exhibition design makes a huge difference in elevating the visitor-experience of the  display, both visually and spatially,” say Kim and Itakura, “It’s a delicate challenge not to let the exhibition design overstep the artwork, but when exhibition design plays its role appropriately, it becomes a key player in creating a memorable, emotional experience.”


Design Team - IKD
Yugon Kim, Partner
Tomomi Itakura, Partner
Brendan Galinauskas, Designer
David Morgan, Designer
Yuki Kawae, Designer

 

Ikd

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and founded in 2012, IKD is an architectural design firm that focuses on materials, objects, space, and communication. IKD has a broad spectrum of expertise—architectural, museum exhibition, lighting, furniture design, art display, and sculpture. This range of pursuits inspires our approach to seeing the world and informs our design solutions. www.i-k-design.com

 
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Status: Built
Location: Wellsley, MA, US
Additional Credits: Photography:
Thomas Willis
Ben Kou

 
Overall Perspective of Exhibition
Overall Perspective of Exhibition
View of Cordial Minuet and Diamond Trust (Photo by Ben Kou)
View of Cordial Minuet and Diamond Trust (Photo by Ben Kou)
Technical Drawing: Cordial Minuet
Technical Drawing: Cordial Minuet
View of Inside A Star Filled Sky (Photo by Ben Kou)
View of Inside A Star Filled Sky (Photo by Ben Kou)
Technical Drawing: Inside A Star Filled Sky
Technical Drawing: Inside A Star Filled Sky
View of small gallery (Photo by Ben Kou)
View of small gallery (Photo by Ben Kou)
Overall Plan of Exhibition
Overall Plan of Exhibition