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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Mutating–Work in Progress

Mutating–Work in Progress

“Mutating” is a speculative design work addressing human habits and habitats shifting under Covid-19 circumstances. Look around, people are fully armed to avoid being infected. We are advised to maintain the distance between people and reduce interpersonal communication. We are experiencing an unprecedented situation in this lockdown world which, from another aspect , drives us to consider the possibilities of human’s living states in the future. At the moment, we assumed a future life scenario, through multimedia experience, including sounds synthesis, interactive motion graphics and VR, “mutating-work in progress” provides spectators a conversation between human and post human.


By observing the state of people during this special period, we begin to think about three aspects.  First, how can the future living space change so that people can safely live in? Secondly, how will human change their living habits in order to adapt to the environment? Will human even go through a biological evolution? Meanwhile, when face-to-face contact is not recommended, how will human contact proceed? Our design will be based on the thoughts of these three aspects.

Human behaviours observation


In order to fully convey to the spectators our thoughts regarding these three aspects, we choose to provide the multimedia experience, which includes sounds synthesis(auditory experience), interactive motion graphics (visual experience), and VR.

Sound synthesis

We assume that in the future, people may suffer from language barrier when wearing facial masks becomes a daily routine. Human’s language ability might degenerate due to the reduced human contact. The sound synthesis will simulate the future communication scene by sensing the distance of people in space.

Interactive motion graphics

This motion of the pattern is quite biological and dynamic. It will change according to the action, distance and biological factors of the experiencer. The experimenter will perceive that this pattern is symbiotic with his body.


The first two elements are combined into the VR scene. The experiencer will see the virtual scene of people taking the elevator. The scene is quite surreal. Every character that the experiencer can see is well protected, even overprotected by wearable devices, evolved hair, biological protection layer, etc. As well as the way they stand back to back, the communication at a distance, the regulations of using the space. These are all our assumptions about the new living habits and new living environment of the future human beings. The scene of taking elevator is just one of the examples.


We will continue to bring more immersive experience to the spectators via the collaboration of multimedia. We will materialise some virtual elements, such as turning the biological structure of the human body in this VR scene into interactive wearable devices. Sound synthesis and interactive motion graphic will be applied to enhance the spatial experience.

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