A magical multisensory adventure popped up in the heart of downtown Toronto earlier this October. As part of the one-day outdoor art festival Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, design and research lab UNSTABLE installed AMAZE, a 3,230-square-foot 3D labyrinth of light and shadow. Upon entering the one-of-a-kind maze, the visitors’ shadows and movements become an integral part of the dynamic installation.
Despite its complex appearance, AMAZE was easily and quickly constructed using an affordable and secure scaffolding system for its base. The prefabricated and modular system of metal pipes lent itself to a linear grid-like structure, over which multiple layers of fabric were draped to create a translucent skin for the maze walls. Colorful beams of moving light are projected on top of the fabric to give AMAZE the illusion of a living organism and to heighten the sense of disorientation inside the labyrinth.
“A labyrinth like no other, AMAZE provides a multisensory experience through a personal journey of discovery, transformation, and challenge in the realm of urban public space,” writes Marcos Zotes, a Reykjavik-based architect and founder of UNSTABLE. “The idea of the maze is predicated in the notion of finding oneself through the notion of getting lost.” AMAZE’s transforming, dynamic nature is driven by an algorithm with a set of pre-defined parameters that control the lights, as well as the movement and shadows of people inside. The temporary installation was built in a large outdoor parking space in downtown Toronto and opened to public October 3, 2014.