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26° & SUNNY ON WEDNESDAY 23 OCTOBER IN MELBOURNE
By Marissa Ciampi
March 13, 2019
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Atmosphere

A floating sauna is popping up in Fairfield Amphitheatre for 24 hours this weekend.
By Marissa Ciampi
March 13, 2019
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Keen for a relaxing Sunday session at the sauna? Well, this Melbourne Design Week you can do just that — sort of. This weekend, a prototype 'sauna' in the shape of a translucent white cabin will pop up at Fairfield Amphitheatre.

Atmosphere is 24-hour design experiment that looks at the long-standing social tradition of going to the sauna and how it can have a place in our community. It will see a sauna suspended on an opaque body of water, with misty hot steam filling the floating structure. Visitors will be encouraged to enter the sauna and immerse themselves in the space, which will offer a variety of sensory experiences both inside and outside the structure — the program includes performances, soundscapes, tea ceremonies, scented infusions and 'mindfulness experiences'.

Participant interaction with the installation will form the basis for this social research experiment, which will examine how a sauna-like environment can affect the dynamics of a communal space. The experiment hopes to demonstrate a form of public design that enhances shared wellbeing, which the creators see as a potential 'antidote' to the heightened anxiety and social isolation of our time.

What about the sauna makes it a beneficial community space for so many cultures? That's what this collaboration between local creative practices Fresh Prince, Collective Futures and Studio RJM hopes to discover. The installation aims to improve communal welfare through the design of shared spaces, starting with this sauna prototype.

The exhibition will open in the Fairfield Amphitheatre on Sunday, March 17 from 9am-5pm. All booked sessions have unfortunately sold out, but access to the sauna is open to the public from noon until 1pm and between each scheduled session.

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