Titled The Butterfly Trail, the installation in the space’s flagship Now Building on the corner of Tottenham Court Road will see the Outernet’s famous floor-to-ceiling screens become an indoor jungle. When the QR codes set into the walls are scanned, viewers will be able to interact with the stunning display, watch flocks of butterflies fly across the space, and even see a butterfly land on their hand.
“The Butterfly Trail is probably our most ambitious, immersive experience to date,” said Alexandra Payne, Outernet’s Head of Creative. “We’re really hoping to surprise and delight the audiences and the visitors that are coming and stepping out of the hustle and bustle of London and into a bit of a jungle.”
The project has been created in partnership with Outernet’s production partners, Pixel Artworks, who suggested and designed the final product – with the aim, says Payne, of encouraging the accessibility of these kinds of immersive experiences for all.
“Not everybody has done AR before; not everyone has done mixed reality experiences,” she added. “So we really want to normalise that kind of immersive experience and bring that something new and different to those audiences that are coming to us.”
The Outernet has only been open for twelve months (it opened its doors on September 9, 2022) but it has already become one of London’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting more than 1.5m visitors per week with its large-scale immersive experiences – its huge 8K, 360-degree screens have played host to everything from dance performances to a moving ceiling inspired by the Sistine Chapel.
“At the heart of what Outernet wants to try and do is create large scale experiences for the public,” Payne added. “We’re not a ticketed space, we’re free. So we want anybody and everybody to be able to come into our spaces and enjoy [them].”
The Butterfly Trail will be open from 12-6pm from tomorrow through Christmas, and organisers hope to extend it into 2024: plenty of time for a flutter.