Flatland was a collaborative immersive theatre project that made use of a novel shape-changing navigation interface to guide sighted and blind participants through a pitch black space. The project was a collaboration between myself, who took care of the navigation technology, Extant, a vision-impaired theatre group from London, UK and Janet van der Linden, an professor of Informations at The Open University. The project was funded by The Nesta Digital Fund.

Digital R&D Fund for the Arts

Flatland was originally a novel from 1884, where stories of the lives of 2-dimensional geometric creatures was used to provide commentary on Victorian values of social equality. Central to the novel is the importance of shape and form.

Cover of the 1884 novel 'Flatland, A Romance of Many Dimensions' by Edwin Abbott.

Cover of the 1884 novel ‘Flatland, A Romance of Many Dimensions’ by Edwin Abbott.

In our adaptation, our audience are physically guided though the world of Flatland by The Animotus – a real-life shape changing navigation device, which I developed for the project. You can view a video that shows the device and the audience environment below.

More information on the Flatland installation may be found on the project website: http://flatland.org.uk/
Further information on The Animotus, including a variety of news articles may be found the Animotus / Haptic Sandwich page.