Sink away from reality in this pitch black, audio physical experience.
The Experience

For this experience, participants are told that they will take an elevator deep into the ground in complete darkness to get to a place of peaceful isolation to briefly get away from the noise of daily life. Once time is up they will be brought back up and an attendant will guide them back to light.

Artist representation of the intended perceived experience. 


Once you arrive on the first floor of the building you will be given an eye mask to wear and be told to wait for an attendant to come get you.

When the attendant arrives, they will guide you into the dark to the main elevator.

You will be asked to sit down in a chair on a platform and to remove your eye mask only to realize you still can’t see anything. You are instructed to remain seated until an attendant comes to get you at the end. 

Once all systems have been checked and you are feeling safe and comfortable, the descent will begin.

You feel the platform begin to lower and you hear the space around you moving up and away from you.

The platform continues its descent at a constant rate. You may zone out, you may focus on the sound of the space around you or the pulse of the descending platform.

Over time you hear the space become bigger around you until you finally reach the lowest point on your journey in which the platform stops its descent and hangs suspended and swaying for you to bask in this audio tactile environment.

After some time has passed at the bottom of your descent, you are brought up quickly back to the start point.

The attendant will come get you from the platform and guide you back to the light and back to reality.

(The entire experience takes about 15 minutes but participants are not told that prior.)

How it works / What you're not supposed to see

Platform suspended by 4 hoists and 10 speaker ambisonic audio system.

DEEEP is not actually an elevator that sinks 50 floors into the ground, but a physical room that you enter that uses a precisely controlled lowering platform in combination with a 10 speaker ambisonic audio system to trick the participant into thinking they are descending into the ground at a constant rate for 10 minutes. 


The platform is lowered by 4 modified hoists connected to high voltage DC motor controllers all managed by an Arduino. The platform sinks quickly at first to create the acceleration needed to feel the descent. From there the hoists start pulsing causing a constant but disorienting shake which creates the illusion that you are still descending because you never feel the platform actually coming to a stop. The reality is that you only sink about 3 feet total. Additionally, the ambisonic audio system has audio sources passing by you vertically along with low rumbling bass that matches the shaking of the platform to create a seamless and immersive audio tactile environment.

The entire sequence of movements and vibrations are preprogrammed to run along with the matching audio track for about 10 minutes ending with the participant being brought back up and guided back out to the light / reality.

Process Photos
3D Renders / CAD for Fabrication Planning
Initial Rough Ideas / Proposals