ATMOSPHERE is a concept for a customizable virtual experience, designed to create a relaxing ambiance. This is achieved by simulating a variety of soothing and natural environments such as a forest, a beach or even under the sea. ATMOSPHERE is designed for people in isolated environments such as researchers and scientists on Antarctica or even future astronauts on Mars.
The concept of the project was developed with consultation from experts of the European Space Agency (ESA). It was an opportunity to combine my personal passion for animation with an interest in space exploration. By providing the experience of analogue training on Antarctica, a concept was developed by focusing on the mental health of astronauts from the ESA. Groups of people in a hostile, extreme and isolated environment for a long period of time can develop higher levels of stress. Virtual Reality offers a unique and practical solution due to the compact size and its ability to create the illusion of changing an individual’s environment. The value of ATMOSPHERE in an environment such as Antarctica is the possibility to recharge someone’s mental health by individually experiencing a natural and relaxing ambience.
The first prototype of ATMOSPHERE was developed in 2018 at the Willem de Kooning Academy. The virtual simulation of a forest proved to be a pleasant experience for people with a burn-out.
The goal of the individual Virtual Experience is to recuperate the user’s mental health when stressed or frustrated. It’s concept is designed for desolate and isolated areas, which the user can temporarily escape from, by entering a vivid and perhaps nostalgic virtual world. Therefore it is valuable to be able to customize the experience. ATMOSPHERE has the potential to go beyond an initial prototype on Antarctica. The analogue testing can prove valuable to further develop for use on the International Space Station, the Moon and potentially even Mars.
You can view the virtual simulation here:
I would love to develop the prototype further and to gather funding for research and the possibility to develop the installation further on Antarctica. This will provide a firsthand experience and also serve as a good case for analogue testing. Analogue testing on Antarctica might provide interesting insight into the possibilities of commercial use on Earth or future space operations.