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Serenity: Meet You Where You Are

Serenity: Meet You Where You Are is an exhibition proposal for an immersive traveling exhibition where visitors will leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. This traveling exhibition changes based on its location and aims to bring local culture and its native environment to visitors and bring awareness that we are a part of nature. There will be multiple rooms, each focusing on a different part of the environment related to nature and relaxation. Visitors will immerse further in nature and our environment through these rooms, and allowing people to see what nature has to offer can encourage people to practice more environmentally friendly behaviors and to visit nature more often. 

Exhibition Design | May 2022


This traveling exhibition would be located close to a city to target people who work under extreme conditions or indoors. I would house the display in a warehouse where it may be considered a revitalization project and have more control over the remodeling of the space. It would also make the presentation more accessible to people thanks to grants and the lower cost of housing the exhibition. Cities like New York have little green space, which can be an alternative for those living there. We live in a stressful world with extensive obligations, and often, having too much information within a museum can be overwhelming for some. Being in green spaces can relieve stress in minutes, and relaxation is a state of physical and mental calm. Within these rooms, visitors can experience healing from nature.

Room Overview

Visiting the exhibition, people would first enter the “information and pop-up” room to look at the cafe and food stands specific to its location. In this room, visitors will receive a brochure of the different rooms in this exhibition and how they bring relaxation and serenity to different people. Visitors can also purchase indigenous food and drinks in this location, oils, and other properties used in this exhibition that help with relaxation to bring home.


Although visitors can choose whichever order, the first room in this exhibition is Garden and I, filled with flowers, and the moving flowers will create an open space as they ascend to float above people, where they can walk freely. There will be a few benches where visitors can rest if they don’t want to sit on the floor. When people look at flowers, the flowers will look back, making them become one. 

In the next room, Flowing Waters uses a low fog machine and projector to create the illusion that people are walking in water and relaxing water-flowing music in the background. With wheelchair accessibility in mind, there will be a path on the side that the fog machines will not affect. This room will also have a waterfall that turns on every 10 minutes to encourage visitors to spend more time there. 

The Exploration room differs slightly from the previous one. It is a small maze through the forest with trees native to that area. There are benches where visitors can take a break, and next to them would be labeled introducing the native plants in the room. Morse code will also be on the labels because this exhibition is not only about seeing. Being in the presence of nature can also bring calmness and happiness to the mind. The visitors can also connect further with the plants by feeling the wall near the entrance. The exhibition does not encourage touching the plants because I want to present the importance of nurturing our environment. Because this is a traveling exhibition, this room's theme would be desert if it were in a different climate, such as Abu Dhabi or Arizona. Deserts are not generally considered the typical “nature,” but a warm environment can boost mood and positively influence a person’s well-being. I would also incorporate sound healing to promote physical and mental relaxation. 

Under One Sky is a room where people will connect with people from all over the world. This room is unique because most other rooms are associated with daytime activities. People can attempt relaxation at night. The first section of the room would have stars on the ceiling where visitors can borrow a towel or chair to lie down and enjoy quiet peace. The second room would be a sunrise or sunset room showing the beautiful views of somewhere on the other side of the earth. Lastly, visitors would walk past the global room to leave this room, where they will see five more interactive changing screens of different natural places worldwide, connecting the visitor to the whole world and seeing what the world has to offer. 

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Birds eye view

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Side view

Object List


Considering some may be sensitive to flowers, forests, fog, and darkness, each room would have a warning and information sign outside, informing visitors of their possible experiences upon entry. Since all the rooms are separated, there will be light-up signs inside and outside these nature rooms, and visitors can choose which they wish to visit. In the middle of these rooms is an open green space with crafts and games for visitors and a drawing wall. By making this an immersive experience, visitors can experience healing without the overwhelming aspects of museums and learn more about their local communities. Nature is all around us, and by providing knowledge through a more immersive environment, visitors can feel more connected to exploring things they can incorporate into their daily lives.

Interactive Activities

This screen is for the touchscreen kiosks in the global sections in Under One Sky. Visitors can use this device to “travel” to different parts of the world and learn about the native features of it. Since this is a traveling exhibition, additional languages will also be available for people worldwide.

The drawing wall is located with the other arts and crafts in the center green space. It encourages visitors to express their feelings while aiding in relaxing and reducing stress. Spontaneous drawing can also help improve focus, relieving the brain from the strain of continuous concentration.

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Behind the Proposal

Due to competition, museums are finding new ways to give the different public experiences they seek. Especially in scientific museums, immersive technologies are incorporated into the visit. Immersive information communication technologies (ICTs) are designed to encourage participation, offer a memorable experience, and facilitate cultural objects and knowledge appropriation. This offer makes museums associate with what is usually at theme parks. At the basic level, ICTs are designed to make visitors aware of the spaces that make up an exhibition. It also provides visitors with information, grabs their attention, engages their interest, makes exhibits come alive, and alleviates the boredom associated with museum visits. This immersion is also characterized by escapism, making the visitors feel like they are elsewhere and have escaped the world around them. The reason for creating this immersive experience is to become a memorable experience for visitors, encourage them to visit nature more often, and show them the different possibilities of interacting with our environment. While this exhibition brings local knowledge to the visitors, it is not as mentally draining as museum visits can be for some. 


The inspiration for one of the rooms Garden and I came from teamLab. TeamLab wants to create an area where people will feel connected with nature within their Floating Flowers room, which is also what I wish to bring to this exhibition. The flowers are arranged three-dimensionally, and visitors will feel like they are one with the flowers, which can impact the garden’s movement. When visitors make small movements, the flowers will also plummet in that direction. The flowers used are live flowers; nothing is artificial. This creates the reality of a benign one with nature. TeamLab ideas orchids because of their ability to grow without being placed in soil but still gain the necessary amount of nutrients they need, such as water, from the air. This exhibition helped me generate my first room aligned with sparking inspiration for the rest. This place not only helps visitors find solace, but this garden is also home to these flowers and plants. I loved how much effort TeamLab put into their art and creating a healthy living environment for the plants. I wish visitors would take away the importance of caring for our environment after visiting Serenity: Meet You Where You Are.


Research shows that exposure to green spaces has been associated with mental health benefits that lower stress levels and reduce symptomology for depression and anxiety. People in urban environments use their attention to overcome the effects of constant stimulation, which creates cognitive fatigue over time. On the other hand, nature offers soft fascination, which refers to the scene that captures attention but elicits a feeling of pleasure. Soft fascination reduces the demand for a person’s attention and allows them to restore the depleted attentional resources better. With the stressful needs of daily life, a person can also feel a sense of escape from the environment, and it promotes experiences of “being away.” This is an essential aspect of this exhibition because the exhibit aims to bring healing to each person visiting through interaction with our environment. 


A place’s identity can also become a restorative environment for those attached. People have their favorite places to relax, calm down, clear their minds after challenging experiences, and escape social pressures. Emotion regulation is not only an internal process, but it also involves interaction with the environment. A Study from Epstein (1983,1985, 1994) assumes that human beings construct a personal theory of themselves and the world. From the study with a sample size of n=78, the favorite places identified by subjects were, in keeping with the literature on therapeutic environments, most often places with greenery, water, and scenic quality. Eighteen participants chose places of water as their favorite places, such as a lake, sea in a boat, and an island. Fifteen participants chose green areas as their favorite places. These favorite place experiences are characterized by high levels of being away, fascination, coherence, and compatibility, which affirms that it is valid to consider these places as sources of therapeutic experience. Since many people think of nature as their safe space, creating this exhibit can demonstrate that feeling of escape. For those who did not consider nature an environment for relaxation, this exhibition presents nature's possibilities.

A great example of nature as a place of safety and serenity since the 16th century is the Zen garden of Shōden-ji temple, which represents a living creation in which the creative act has a lived presence within the garden. The garden challenges the art of seeing, describing, and reflecting. The garden is simple and serves as a designed and natural landscape to promote meditation. Zen meditation is generally practiced in closed rooms where “attention is drawn away from outer perception.” The creation of these gardens stems from a problem –how to take nature outside and bring it as a natural creation, which relates to this exhibition because I am constantly considering how I can bring nature to people where they can come in contact with it daily. After visiting our exhibition, I hope that many people find the small parts of nature around them, such as small gardens behind their houses and on their patios, and directly relate to my first room in connecting visitors with nature around them. 


Aside from seeing nature and being in the presence of it, scents can also bring relaxation. Relaxation is a condition of resting from intensity and anxiety from both physical and psychological aspects. It can also help promote a higher level of sleep quality. Lavender and yuzu are two unique fragrances that can encourage people’s relaxation to a greater degree. Lavender helps people feel revived, comfortable, and relieved while loosening the muscles and sedating the mind. Yuzu also produces more significant effects on relaxation. In Zhao et al. (2019) study, the participants who smelled yuzu said the models looked three years younger because they felt revived, thus making participants think the models looked younger. Yuzu is also often used to relieve nausea and dizziness. The study used water as a neutral scent as a controlled variable and showed that people feel more relaxed after smelling pleasant aroma scents than a neutral odor. The scent will become essential to this exhibition as it can help bring visitors more relaxation than just interacting with nature. The scents used in the exhibition would also be available at the gift shop so visitors can bring a part of the exhibition home.


The sources of exhibition inspiration came from teamLab as well as other research studies. The images below are works of teamLab and not my own.

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