The Living Room Collective is an ensemble of artists of many disciplines, coming together to build thematic, interactive scenes and installations. Through technology and full-sensory set design, we transform spaces into gateways that transport you, that show you another world can exist behind every door. Our work is often driven by inclusivity, community, and kindness—values which we hope to share with all who enter our living rooms.
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Founding members of the Living Room Collective are Aaron Wynn, Albert Kong, Alex Kryzanowski, Jessica Lachenal, Justin Tang, Kat Meler, Mike Katsevman, Min Yoon.
Sylvan Echoes is an immersive theatre set piece that asks guests to assist a mysterious group of magical beings with their strange mission, all set against a darkened forest. Guests are first invited into a museum to examine artifacts related to the beings, known as the Sylvan Keepers. While there, a magical portal opens up, inviting guests into the Echoes themselves, where they come face-to-face with the Keepers.
With this installation, we wanted to transport guests into a strange, fantastical space, which we had transformed through the use of branches, trees, and careful framing. The idea was to take a space that they had visited previously and recontextualize it, making the familiar seem impossibly different. To create this illusion, we utilized soundscapes, scent design, large set pieces, and careful lighting effects.
Just like with all our installations, embedded at the heart of the piece was an invitation for people to share of themselves, whether it be by story, song, or simple participation. We hoped to foster connection through storytelling, and by giving them permission to open up in a wondrous space, we believe we were successful.
Living Room sprouts from the ground in the middle of Frank Ogawa Plaza. An open countertop wraps around the wall, directing pedestrians in and out of the interior, where they can share their photo or enjoy the shifting display while playing House. The walls open like two arms into the city, suggesting that all public space can be sites for gathering and play.
Living Room creates a space where people of Oakland come together to play and exist together as one community, one family. Portraits of passersby magically appear, arranged as family photos, in a warm playful set that transforms the city’s exterior into a shared space we all call home.
Stellar Displacement is a traveling immersive environment in a box truck that transports participants into an experience of lying in a forest clearing on a summer night in the middle of nature while staring up into the sky. We hope to bring a sense of the night sky, stars, and constellations to urban areas where light pollution prohibits visibility to the celestial sphere.
The installation was originally built inside a 20' box truck. A planetarium projector was installed to project nightscapes around the room. To create the illusion of nature, the viewer was immersed in evocative sensory set dressing, lying down on real grass, surrounded by the chirps and hums of wildlife and smells of the forest.
While those of us in the Bay Area are privileged enough to have relatively close access to nature, it is a privilege that is often underutilized, as the convenience of being in a city so bloated with on-demand services distracts from a more primal attraction to being awed by natural spectacle.