Sky Gazing Tower aims to provide personal space to people who live in crowded urban environments. Today, the speed and pressure of everyday life can cause anxiety, discomfort and frustration. The purpose of the “Sky Gazing Tower” is to address issues and challenges that citizens of global cities face everyday, such as social anxiety, stress, and agoraphobia, by giving private space for the public to decompress while gazing at the sky.
The installation gives space and time to each individual to stare at the sky alone, while being surrounded by a hanging translucent orange membrane that diffuses the light and creates a soothing environment. The installation is a low-cost lightweight structure that can be easily assembled and transported. It consists of a white steel frame and vinyl orange membrane stripes that hang loosely from the top ring, covering the upper part of the body but leaving the legs visible to the public making clear that the tower is occupied. The translucency of the membrane allows a subtle connection with the exterior while at the same time provides a place of retreat. A VR environment was developed in parallel, that gives the visitors of the festival the opportunity to modify the structure and define their own personal space according to their needs and preferences. Visitors can experience the installation in a simulated crowded urban environment and they can redesign the tower until they feel comfortable in it. Each visitor can change the size, color and materiality of the tower using the User Interface in the VR. This digital tool embraces the diversity of the citizens of big cities by giving them the chance to explore their personal space and redefine its boundaries and aesthetics.