Gear geeks be warned: these videos might get you hot under the harness. Digital design studio Tomorrow Bureau recently released a two-part film called Xtreme Scenario, in which climbing gear and outdoor equipment appear in computer generated graphics, with spine-tingling sound effects. James Earls and Jack Featherstone combined their passion for outdoor activities with their digital design skills to create 'a tribute to the great outdoors and a study on the aesthetics of the technical equipment needed to navigate it.'
The idea for the project was conceived two years ago. Regarding the choice of climbing equipment, Jack told UKC:
'As designers we are constantly looking at the world through the lens of form versus function. Why does an object or product look the way that it does? What stories do they tell and how do they fit into the wider world of visual culture in general? We often find beauty in utility and lots of outdoor wear and equipment seem to encapsulate this idea.'
The pair have previously provided the in-store viuals for top designer fashion brands such as Kenzo, for whom they created a global campaign including climbing ropes and carabiners. 'The themes of that specific collection took a lot of inspiration from outdoor wear in general,' Jack explained.
In Xtreme Scenario, James and Jack have created a rather creepy narrative of sorts weaving pieces of equipment together through an audiovisual study of the aesthetics and mechanisms of ropes, carabiners, belay plates, ice axes, stoves, tents and even GPS devices. As the ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) craze continues to rack up views on YouTube and social media, our first impression was that the videos were designed to appeal to the senses and to this new trend, or to those with a fetish for outdoor kit? Ropes and metalware do have a touch of another four-letter abbreviation about them, after all...
'The intention was certainly to evoke an emotional response from the viewer through paying close attention to the tactility, materiality and sounds of the objects. It is always a win when we manage to trick the viewer into thinking that the imagery they are seeing is actually real,' Jack told UKC. 'ASMR is quite a trendy term being thrown around at the moment that relates to quite specific emotional responses triggered by certain sensory input, I'm not sure if our film fits into that category!'
Climbers with a keen sense of safety will notice that some of the scenes do not display safe or best practice, so please do not attempt to use these set-ups in anger!
This is yet another example of designers and brands looking sideways at and drawing inspiration from the outdoor industry.
Watch the videos below:
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