PleasantHouse Design and Intact Studio Create Giant Pixilated Maze at GameOn Shenzhen

The walls and floors of the transition area on the first floor were covered with archival video game graphics. Photography by Xiao En.

Every gamer has dreamed of stepping into their favorite animated world. While that’s not possible—at least not yet—visitors to the GameOn Exhibition and Festival in Shenzhen, China, got closer than most last year. PleasantHouse Design and Intact Studio’s design for the festival, organized by Blooming Invest and the Barbican Centre London, created an almost 50,000-square-foot pixilated maze for attendants to conquer as they played 150 classic arcade, console, and virtual reality games.

PleasantHouse Design and Intact Studio determined that the exhibition’s exterior, including the shipping container box office, should be Super Mario-sky blue. Photography by Xiao En.

A concave-convex structure, with a palette of mapping plains, enticed entrants. Once inside, rooms and furnishings seemed to be constructed out of large-scale pixels. “We made a visual extension based on the information transmission,” says PleasantHouse chief designer Juze Yang. “It’s very important to resonate with the feedback between the visitors and creators. And then the resonation became the key element of the design.”

Iconic graphics also served as wayfinders among the multiplayer games on the third floor. Photography by Xiao En.

And the game didn’t end once visitors reached the gift shop: Most of the cubic furniture and design elements were intended for reuse in future exhibitions, or could even be leveled-up into public decoration.

The exit sign utilized a familiar video game screen. Photography by Xiao En.
The stepped seating could be moved around, reassembled for other uses, or even jumped across, Mario-style. Photography by Xiao En.
The first floor included an exhibition gallery of early arcade games. Photography by Xiao En.
The second floor offered rows of role-playing games, along with marketing materials. Photography by Xiao En.
The children’s area on the second floor was illuminated by glowing pixels. Photography by Xiao En.

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