At the core of our practice is a fascination of the new and manifold thresholds that connect physical and virtual spaces.

From our first project at the 2014 Grammy Awards, and an experiment with interactive holographic projection, it continues to fuel R+D into alternative techniques, narratives and technologies.

Hijingo and 'The Experience Machine' illustration by Yescela Vorazan

The Experience Machine

The studio was named after a thought experiment devised by philosopher Robert Nozick, and later reimagined in the Matrix films.

Since Descarte in C17, as a culture weve been fascinated by ideas of perception, reality and authenticity. The Experience Machine for us represents that same fascination.

The Experience Machine as an idea is a threshold space, a canvas for exploring interactions between virtual, physical and subjective experience, to play and potentially subvert and challenge questions of authenticity, expectation, narrative and place.

The Screen Age

Interacting with and inhabiting virtual space is the most popular form of entertainment in the world. Access to these spaces is generally standardised into consumer devices and platforms, such as gaming consoles, mobile devices, HMDs, with content delivered and mediated by centralised servers.

It makes economic sense at scale to standardise interactions like this, but the rapid innovation in rendering technology that brings these spaces to life, and integrations with increasingly powerful hardware is opening up new and creative opportunities for different types of threshold experience and production designs.

By interweaving virtual spaces into production design - new horizons of hybrid experiences come into sight.

The Experience Machine as an idea is a threshold space, a canvas for exploring interactions between virtual, physical and subjective experience.

FRAMES at Selfridges

Communal Authentication

Standardised and mediated virtual spaces remove the nuance of human interaction and connection.

We believe that communal experiences and interactions are fundamental to our nature, and through the eyes of other people we see ourselves, authenticating our experiences.

The future is brighter and more interesting if the architecture of communal experience isn’t solely in the power of digital platforms, and the devices and HMDs that might serve as their gatekeepers and data gatherers.


Physical experiences are laden with layers of complexity, and the most moving and memorable experiences happen when people are together.

What we’re interested in is how you can retain that nuance and power of a communal experience, and layer it with with the possibilities of digital and virtual spaces.

The majority of our work considers the audience as the fundamental layer, and the design process becomes how we can create physical, technical and visual interventions to the point in which the experience space becomes a melded entity, with a dialogue and interactivity between all the layers. It’s about considering a space holistically, and that includes operation and audience journey.



Through the eyes of other people we see ourselves, authenticating our experiences

For our project with Google Pixel, Elements, we used this layering methodology to include the participants within the experience space. By layering glass, projection, light and interactivity, we enveloped the participants within a virtual infinity tunnel.

For Frames at Selfridges, we created layers of overlapping transparent projection in a 360 presentation, including audience and performer within the experience space.

This interactivity within the experience space is what we strive for, forging moments when physical, virtual, audience and performer enter a dialogue together.

Masterpiece XR

Realtime systems

The nature of virtual space is free movement where the user can navigate their own path can interact dynamically with the world around them. When creating physical-virtual thresholds, embracing realtime systems and rendering pipelines is a key factor to bridging the gap.

With that adoption comes a reframed way of working. Considering image spatially instead of restricted to the 16:9 frame opens up so many more possibilities and ways in to a space, a story or a performance.

Building your content engine on a realtime platform like Unreal can allow for production efficiencies. The process of rebuilding Edward Hoppers nighthawks as a virtual space highlighted the multi-domain possibilities of creating content in this way. A virtual space, built once, that can be accessed through a 16:9 frame as a video, or spatially as part of a layered production design, or as a fully immersive VR experience.

Reflected Light with Rambert and The Avalanches


We’ve always found a kind of theatrical synergy by anchoring our threshold spaces with kinetic elements.

For Rag&Bone we spun 3 portals into a virtual space, in a kind of inverted zoetrope. For SKEPTA we used a 40m robot to stretch a generative canvas the length of the room, the movement of which drove the content environment, for Printworks we created a physical Light Printer that offered glimpses of invisible imagery.

Breaking the screen free from its traditional role as static canvas, and reinterpreting it spatially, as a kind of window, is part of our threshold methodology.

Stage 10 at Dystopia 987
Rail 9 at Dystopia 987

Future Performance Platforms

The importance of remote participation to grow audience figures and engagement, combined with a move to a realtime engine driving the world building and storytelling, could potentially change the concept of what a stage is.

Could future performance platforms embody this idea of a multilayered threshold space - connecting performance, live and remote audience, virtual place making and storytelling together in authentic dialogue?

Broadcast platform concept for Apple


Our perspective on emerging industry patterns, creative observations, research and insights.

As tools and technology evolve and working practices and processes respond, viewpoints offers a critical point of view from a hybrid, multi-domain studio.

Creative direction and production of narrative spaces. Formed in 2015, The Experience Machine takes physical engineering, lighting design, moving image and visual programming to new spaces by embracing emerging techniques, new technologies and novel materiality.

TEM is a multi disciplinary studio with a growing community of thinkers, designers, technical experts, producers and collaborators, it continues to explore the evolving possibilities for experience within live and virtual spaces.

Clients and Collaborators

  • Disguise Technologies
  • MCM
  • Manchester International Festival [12]
  • Pernod Ricard
  • Prada
  • Primal Scream
  • World Economic Forum
  • Yugo Nakamura


As an evolving multi disciplinary practice, our agile structure relies on an ever growing community of designers, technical experts, producers and collaborators.

    We're always searching for people to bring into our creative and production network. If you feel we should be it touch with you, please contact us.
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The Experience Machine

Creative and Production