We are a small and agile creative studio that exists between physical and digital spaces, both in the work we make and how we make it.

Our experience collaborating with partners over distance has taught us how digital nativeness and fluidity is required at the core of our process.

Over the last decade we have discovered, inherited, developed, and refined a number of ways of working which cumulatively has formed our working practice.

When we look back at our journey to this create this practice, its hard to imagine working differently.

Small is beautiful

Our studio core is based in London working with a wide collective of partners and collaborators throughout the UK, Europe, and beyond.

Creating bespoke additions around our London core has been in our DNA since 2015.

We consciously decided to move business, creative and production activities onto collaborative cloud platforms such as Miro, Notion and Slack as it gives us the virtual spaces for shorthand workflow across timezones, allowing us to seamlessly be wherever a project needs us to be.

Frames @ Selfridges - Pre-vis vs Build
Rail 9 light simulation

Light simulation

GPU rendering engines really gained prominence around a decade ago.

Octane, a type of GPU renderer specifically allowed realistic light and material interactions to be simulated and rendered in near realtime, transforming the process of digital creation, where as before you were trying to illustrate physical phenomena like light or glass, the Octane renderer transformed into a window to a virtual workshop, where you could get realtime feedback from virtual light and material changes. Play, iteration and collaboration were all positively effected.

When working at United Visual Artists we had always been in awe of the workshop, it stood as a gatekeeper into the world of physical design and architecture, and indeed elements of physical and virtual correlation and prototyping will always need to be done, but the ability to quickly asses a space and iterate an intervention, making use of libraries of virtual assets and fixtures has been a huge benefit to our process.

Life before CAD

3D CAD and Building Information Modelling

Traditionally architectural plans followed the paradigm of the draftsman and drafting desk. 2D plans and elevations drawn by hand.

CAD carried over this 2D paradigm, but is slowly transitioning to a 3D workflow and associated BIM processes, that use true to life components that model relationships and behaviours from the real world. By building up a common data set for a project, it allows different departments to work together, sharing data in an open collaborative process.

The events and installation industry is still transitioning to this methodology, but as a studio its a part of our practice.

The general trend of creating virtualised representations of real objects and relationships, and the interoperability of those representations between partners and collaborators increases efficiency, and theoretically shortens design and development times and improves collaboration and project outcomes.


Dystopia 987 Stage 10 3D Model

Dystopia 987 Stage 10 3D Model

Horizon CAD

Our workflow generally begins with sketching and digital ideation facilitated by cloud based tools like Miro that help define themes and intentions.

We build this out into 3D sketches and then renderings in which we iterate the lighting environment, structure and the imagery and technology present. How we weave and layer those elements together with sound and the narrative journey of a space becomes the main creative and production challenge.

From there our models become the basis for 3D CAD, which we use to inform different partners and vendors of the creative intent and helps efficient collaboration across separate teams and companies.

The goal is to be able to understand different audience perspectives, to layer light, imagery, sound, kinetics, and cameras together, and be able to manipulate these in creative ways in aid of the show.

Media servers in action

Dragonfly 3

Creating a dynamic environment, show or install is a technically involved process.

The goal is to be able to understand different audience perspectives, to layer light, imagery, sound, kinetics, and cameras together, and be able to manipulate these in creative ways in aid of the show.

A recent history of show design can’t be written without noting the increasingly ascendent role of video. A media server we knew as D3, now Disguise but initially Dragonfly 3 was spun out of the knowledge and development that happened at UVA in south London in the early 2000s. It represented a wider trend of video projection and latterly LED becoming a hugely important aspect of show design, architecture and placemaking.

Disguise allows you to experience a space in 3D, sequence rendered and generative media to music, control and trigger kinetics, cameras, tracking and interface with lighting desks. It allows creators and stakeholders to plan content production and react in an agile way.

For us Disguise, Unreal, and custom control systems that we create bespoke on top of platforms like Touch Designer and programming languages like C act as the natural end point of our virtualised workflow to create dynamic, reactive spaces and shows. It also points to a convergence and potential crossover point into creating environments that straddle physical and virtual spaces, as new audiences grow and the definition of experience design widens.

Custom show control

An interdependent process

As technology and integrated production become ever more important within the creative and design industries, maintaining an initial, traditional blue sky creative phase divorced from production becomes counterproductive to the project and is in danger of wasting time and money.

As a studio that works in both creative and production capacities, its evident that defining realistic production boundaries can prompt the most creative and innovative work.

This differs from the workflows and relationships that are transplanted from the ad agency - production company model. These often involve a creative intent and vision defined by sketches and references, which we receive and are asked to validate and cost. Unfortunately this often leads to the project not going ahead due to production unknowns and scope budget mis-matches.

By engaging TEM Studio early in the process and together clearly defining outputs, goals, budget, logistical and timeline boundaries and progressing a project in an open, non hierarchical way between creative, strategy and production, we generally yield better, more cost efficient results for stakeholders.

Stage 10 live


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