09 / Escapism / VIRTUAL REALITY



01.
    It is no question that the year 2020 has brought about a tsunami of change, from a global pandemic to the historical Blacks Lives Matter movement to the harsh realities of impending climate change - is is quite clear that the world will no longer be the same. Collectively we are learning to deal with a new normal - adjusting to a new way of life; our social interactions restricted, our travel plans halted. We at The AIT®, like many, have become so much more appreciative of past voyages; reminiscing on expeditions to the east coast of India, travels to mountainous Morocco and to sweet Los Angeles and beyond. Travel has such a way of invigorating the spirit, enriching our lives & cultivating our souls.

02.
    But as it stands, the future of free travel has exponentially shifted. With our travel itineraries suspended, the past summer has left us staring out of windows dreaming of far away lands and valleys, that somewhere in the world are left silently peaceful. We surf the web in desperate need of some sort of escapism, searching for things to soothe our restless souls.

03.
    We look towards the extraordinary minds behind virtual reality, emerging ourselves in digitally constructed worlds where our fears & worries cease to exist. We look for paradise. Virtual artists such as Alexis Christodoulou, Charlotte Taylor & Paul Milinski are the masterminds behind the some of the most sensational virtual paradises that we can’t get enough of.
    There’s something to be said for graphic escapism, and its ability to transport the viewer to a utopia of the imagination - to a world where anything is possible. The impressively talented designers invite us to walk with them through their Edens, down the many avenues in their minds. They have the ability to create spaces in which there are no rules - where waters flow and shapes billow & swell into silhouettes we’ve never seen before.

04.
    Alexis Christodoulou brings an extraordinary sense of movement to her graphics, creating calming pockets of computer generated realities. Her short films are 10 seconds of euphoric serenity, exampled in one of our favourites, a looped reality where butterflies flutter in an underground cave, with spherical lights softly suspended from the ceiling. Birds in the background chirping ever so smoothly, their calls echoing off the crystal clear pool floor. Christodoulou’s Instagram page is a never-ending chamber of computer generated worlds that champion soothing spaces -  her colour palettes are sweetly soft with bubblegum pinks, buoyant blues & plump peaches.
Her work is not only a paradigm of the incredible possibilities when it comes to graphic design, but also an expression of how design can console, reassure and soften; inviting someone to simply breathe along to the cadence of trickling water, or to sit quietly with the sounds of far away cicadas.
     Christodoulou’s work is an amalgamation of complex graphics paired with the utmost simplicity of space.
    A cure no doubt for anyone struggling with the emotional weight of the worlds troubles. You can explore each Alexis Christodoulou here.

05.
    Charlotte Taylor’s work follows a similar vein with her effortless constructions of a fresh & new reality.
    Taylor’s work specifically focuses on interior design and architecture - as she reimagines the future of living. From minimal, stripped back bedrooms with open walls and curtains billowing in the wind, to glass homes on the edge of the world, overlooking a never-ending sunset.
     It is quite clear from Taylor’s work that she has an affinity for nature, many of her spaces exist embedded in a flush of blooming botany, her virtual reality working effortlessly in sync with the landscapes she engineers around them. Taylor’s work is a glimpse into the future of interior design, a future where design boundaries are pushed and reimagined, reflecting the change in our habits as we adapt to a new normal. You can explore each Charlotte Taylor here.

06.
    3D artist Paul Milinski perhaps more than the virtual artists above is re-conceptualizing life on the other side of Covid-19. His piece, ‘A table for two’ was shared in abundance across social media over the summer. It presents a virtual dining scene, with modern tables for two spread out across a white sand beach, with the bluest of waters swelling at the base of the baby pink tables and chairs. Is this a keyhole into our future? As we sit indoors dreaming of far away travels, limited in our social interactions, this piece spoke simultaneously to our future desires, but also to our very real realities. It is such a pleasure to be given an insight into Milinski’s mind, being able to wander with him through the worlds he carefully constructs. Worlds where moss covered hills lead one down to secluded glass homes filled with plush pink furniture - or worlds where light lit paths take you down luscious green valleys to outdoor showers surrounded by fields of lavender. Milinski’s mind is an eden of incredible design, so thoughtful, so evident that design can take us to places we had no idea could possibly exist. You can explore each Paul Milinski here.

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