‘Coral Therapy’ @ Design Miami/ 2014
The ‘Coral Therapy’ Design Curio at Design Miami/ 2014.
For Design Miami/ 2014, we were honored to be asked to create a conceptual room in which we debuted ‘Coral Therapy’, a 360-degree virtual reality film experienced via the Oculus Rift. When viewing ‘Coral Therapy’, the viewer is enveloped by fluorescent corals and sea anemones; much like being inside a virtual planetarium theater. ‘Coral Therapy’ is designed to convey a virtual out-of-body experience in which the viewer is transported to a tranquil tropical reef in outer-space. An original ambient score enhances the cosmic coral perspective while accentuating the peaceful and relaxing experience.
‘Coral Therapy’ in action via Oculus Rift VR
The Oculus Rift is not yet commercially available to consumers, so for Design Miami/ we utilized a developer’s kit prototype. When the commercial version is released in 2015, ‘Coral Therapy’ will be available to be purchased and experienced in high-definition resolution.
The Oculus VR Headset
Our Curio was developed in collaboration with Flying Pyramids, a Miami-based photographer and graphic designer. The walls featured innovative magnetic wallpaper installed by Visual Magnetics. The back wallpaper displayed a single macro photograph of the tentacles of a man-o-war, while the side wallpaper was of a brain coral fossil found in Miami Beach’s South Pointe Park. Magnetically overlaid on each of the sidewalls were six different color morphs of a new species of zoanthid soft coral that we discovered here in Miami. A looping film of flower anemones was displayed on the ceiling of the booth from a projector hidden within a mirrored dome that sat upon a hexagonal plinth crafted by Miami Industrial Arts, such that it reflected a full 360 image of the room.
‘Coral Therapy’ in effect via Oculus Rift VR
We would like to thank Design Miami/ for inviting us to participate in the tenth edition of their prestigious show, along with the Knight Foundation for supporting our vision of elevating corals into the popular iconography of 21st century Miami as part of our ‘Coral City/Aquacultural Transformation’ project.
Coral Morphologic Mission Statement:
Coral Morphologic is a Miami-based art-science endeavor founded by Colin Foord and Jared McKay in 2007. Together we present coral reef organisms as archetypal life-forms via film, photography, site-specific installations, and multimedia artworks.
Technological advances in the new millennium have enabled Coral Morphologic to explore a new frontier in the aesthetic interpretation of nature. In doing so, we have discovered corals to be the living embodiment of science and art converged. The combination of vibrant colors, fluid movement, geometric tessellation, and limestone architecture establish corals as the irrefutable icons of 21st century Miami.
It is the remarkable ability of corals to adapt and evolve that inspires Coral Morphologic to establish them as the paradigm-shifting organisms of the global future. By elevating corals into the iconography of modern design and popular culture, Coral Morphologic entreats mankind to better understand and preserve Earth’s imperiled reef ecosystems through works that convey color and depth to the human experience.
Jared McKay (left) and Colin Foord of Coral Morphologic in the ‘Coral Therapy’ Design Curio at Design Miami/ 2014.