Blur the Lines 5 Perceptual Engineering Comvita Wellness Lab: Sensory Honey Tasting

Exhibition & Temporary Structures 2021 Credits
  • Creative Directors
    Danielle Barclay, Craig McKay, Naomi Rushmer
  • Design Directors
    Jon Baxter, Peter Hobbs
  • Team Members
    Jessie Stent, Lani Rain
  • Contributor
    Dr Charles Spence
  • Client
    Comvita Limited

Comvita is on a mission to create a world where bees can thrive so they can help to heal the planet for future generations.

They wanted to create an environment that brought people closer to nature and told the unique story of Comvita in a way that had never been done before.

We immersed ourselves in all things bees, nature and honey and developed an idea to create an experience that awakened the senses to connect people physically and emotionally to the power of the hive.

Comvita Wellness Lab pays homage to the incredible nature of bees and is designed to showcase their expertise in understanding natures intelligence through science.

Inside the lab is a boutique 180 degree theatre which hosts a 30 minute sensploration honey tasting exhibition.

A beekeeper guides visitors through the immersive experience that takes them on an unforgettable journey through nature from a bees eye view.

The space was designed to emulate the purity of the product with all white textures which dramatically transform through mapped projection and surround sound.

We worked with a leading gastrophysisist to interpret tasting notes into audio visual cues that would heighten the neurological connection for the audience.

When you taste complex honeys you pick up on different flavours and we wanted to emulate this sensation visually.

Each flavour was carefully prepared and captured in slow motion to give the audience a sense of flying through them.

These visual cues help the audience identify the complexity of what they are tasting.

We filmed natural New Zealand forests to showcase where the bees forage for nectar and the beauty of our unique native flowers.

We also recreated an entire landscape in 3D to enable us to give visitors the sensation of flying into a forest and beehive.

A real beehive was filmed to capture the worker bees in their natural environment and we also recreated bees digitally to give visitors a unique view of these amazing creatures.

The accompanying soundscape was composed from recordings of bees in nature and envelopes the senses in an orchestral way.

Beehives are kept at 25 degrees and we wanted to emulate this sensation for the audience.

As we enter a beehive visually the room heats up for a moment to give a warming sensation and make this connection.

The lab extends beyond four walls with an Augmented Reality mapped forest that transforms the physical space and connects customers to more information about the power of bees.

We also created a 3D virtual wellness lab to access online with a forest to explore and 3D modelled products to browse and shop online.

The theatre has been designed to host a range of exhibitions and experiences and changes frequently.