Gather.Town Design

Building possible and impossible spaces to gather 

Gather.Town (known as Gather) is a web-browser based virtual platform that combines proximity video-calling with a 2D map explored as an avatar. In collaboration with Rebecca Ballarin, Laurel designs, builds, and activates custom spaces in Gather that blur the lines between reality and imagination. Playing with the nostalgia inherent in this retro-video game platform, we disrupt assumptions about how to interact with each other and the world around us, and invite participants to be active co-creators in a shared experience. 

Explore samples of these custom Gather spaces in the Ruby Flux Showroom (optimal viewing in Chrome browser).  Password: SpacestoGather

All designs by Laurel Green and Rebecca Ballarin, with additional collaborators indicated below.

Selected Projects

December, 2022

Designed by Laurel Green & Rebecca Ballarin with Aria Umezawa, Jasmine Chen, Ryan McDonald, Elena Anciro, and Mike Fan.

Envisioned as a digital meeting place, Infinity Café has no borders or time zones. Built with a national cohort of Opera artists who used storytelling, images, and sounds to share a taste of their local neighbourhoods on a whimsical map of cafe-inspired landscapes. 

April, 2022

This event venue and workspace for this foremost publisher of Canada theatre includes an administrative office, garden, and intimate cabaret theatre for book launches and play readings. PCP’s Spring catalogue is re-imagined as a snakes-and-ladders style series of giant bookshelves that visitors can climb; mimicking the joy of browsing the shelves of your favourite bookstore. 

SummerWorks Exchange for SummerWorks

September, 2021

Using a cut and paste, scrapbook aesthetic that reflects the Festival’s support for artistic process and blends familiar places with non-realistic settings, this space showcased artist portfolios and provided a venue for an industry programming including a talk from the Toronto Harbour Houseboat of visiting Elder Duke Redbird, and an Artist Relay in the Studio.

SummerWorks Exchange Gather Guide

Constellations Prototype for International
Dramaturgy Lab 

June, 2021

Designed by Laurel Green with  David Quang Pham, Stefanie Schmitt, Hanna Slattne, Dimitar Uzunov, Elizagrace Madrone and Pauliina Hulkko.

Exploring psychogeographical mapping and the theme of constellations, this prototype experiment was created with artists of the International Dramaturgy Lab to express their unique dramaturgical universe. Shared at the 2021 LMDA Conference in Mexico City. 

June, 2021

Inspired by FOLDA’s home at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, this festival venue includes a Lobby, Performance Hall, Digital Artifacts Room, and lakeside Camp FOLDA where you can take a canoe ride.

Femme Folks Fest (FFF) Heart 

March, 2021

A place for the community to come together and celebrate femme-identifying artists at this regional festival. The FFF Heart hosted artists-in-residence, broadcast live events from the Theatre, and gathered folks in the rooftop lounge with a view of the city skyline. 

March 2021

Dressing Room Portal: Rachel Behling
Jewelry Portal: Catherine Frid
Bridal Portal: Susan Grise
Accessories Portal: Irena Huljak
Shoes Portal: Zehra Nawab

Concept and Creative Team:
Digital Concept:  Rebecca Ballarin
Digital Design and Construction:
Rebecca Ballarin and Laurel Green

Lisa O’Connell, Laurel Green, Rebecca Ballarin

Original Concept: Lisa O’Connell

A site-specific choose-your-own theatrical experience in Gather that invites audiences to see Auburn Vintage Clothiers from a new perspective as they visit the store’s bridal wear, jewelry, shoes, and accessories departments to uncover vintage gems. Travel through time, weave through clothing racks, reveal the secrets of the people who wore them, and leave your own stories behind.  

Possible and Impossible Spaces to Gather: A Case Study shares the process of building The Vintage Project with Digital Arts Nation.