Pause, Melbourne Design Week

Switch off, tune in, zone out. 

For Melbourne Design Week 2019 we invited the public to surrender phones and digital devices and enter a giant bubble for a solitary moment to pause.

We collaborated with a team of international specialists to engineer this physical installation and sensory experiment, which could only be experienced one person at a time – a luxurious, personal moment.

By disconnecting from devices for five timed minutes of digital-free tranquility, people could focus on what they could see, smell, feel and hear – avoiding the temptation to capture it on social media – and enjoy a rare moment entirely to themselves.

Over seven days, hundreds of visitors immersed themselves in the installation with nothing to do but let their minds wander. We asked them to tell us what they felt when they were alone in the bubble.


Melbourne Design Week


Melbourne, Australia






Hassell、Eness、Arup、MPA、AllSense、3Dinflate、Kvadrat Maharam

Design team

Amanda Callaghan, Ben Duckworth, Bronwyn Pratt, Chen Tang, Gina Engelhardt, Greta Stoutjesdjik, Ingrid Bakker, Jeremy Schluter, Kyal Erdman, Nathania Widjanarko, Prue Pascoe, Rebecca Trenorden, Rob Backhouse


Victor Manuel Vieaux


Twitter Facebook

A moment of total calm in the midst of a chaotic party in the heart of the city. Joyful. More please.”

Pause visitor

A single rare moment of calm – transitioning through morning light, evening light and the warmth of the fire light. Beautiful.”

Pause visitor

The inflated bubble’s form was all about enveloping visitors in a seamless white space – a visual nothing’ where sight takes a back seat to the other senses. 

An airlock portal’ built by MPA helped visitors make the transition into Pause’, fully disconnecting them from their busy urban surroundings. A black space – devoid of any light – heightened the anticipation of what was ahead. 

Opening the door to step inside, visitors triggered a custom smell-scape by Allsense, a sound-scape by Arup and a light-scape by Eness. With their timing in sync, these elements formed the essence of the 5-minute experience – a rare chance to hit the reset’ button in a fast-paced world.

>30% of participants noted having felt relaxed or calm
13% felt different or peaceful
10% felt fresh or immersed


RECORDING_How do you feel? Before x After #pauseMDW #MelbourneDesignWeek X In collaboration with @hassell_studio x @studioeness x @arupgroup x @mpaprojects x @all.sense x @3Dinflate x @kvadrattextiles X PAUSE is an official Melbourne Design Week 2019 ev...



“I went into a trance, my outside life drifted away. I’ve never breathed better.” HASSELL partnered with international specialists to engineer a sensory-heightening experience for Melbourne Design Week 2019. Aiming to disrupt device usage, the experience allowed users to switch off and focus on what they could see, smell, and hear. Did you experience PAUSE this year? @studioeness @arupgroup @mpaprojects @all.sense @kvadrattextiles 3DInflate #mdw2019 #melbournedesignweek2019 #design #installation



If you need to Pause please head over to @testinggrounds to see this stunning #melbournedesignweek installation by @hassell_studio and @studioeness a sensorial moment of light, sound and space. Worth checking out. @ngvmelbourne



Q. What's soft, pink and relaxing to stick your head inside of? A. "PAUSE", an immersive installation you can visit tonight between 5-9pm that invites you take to a moment to yourself. *******************************This project is a collaboration betwe...



Now @testinggrounds for Melbourne Design Week @pause_mdw



Simon in motions #pausemdw #melbournedesignweek



Hands on Melbourne Design Week #pauseMDW Design by @hassell_studio @arupgroup @studioeness @mpaprojects @pause_mdw #architecture #design #melbournedesignweek #australia #melbourne


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