this summer, teamlab is opening a full-scale digital art museum at the mori building in tokyo. the immersive museum features multiple 3-dimensional spaces set across an overwhelming scale of 10,000 square meters, and uses 520 computers and 470 projectors. the japanese ‘ultra-technologists’ have coined the term ‘teamlab borderless’ to describe the nature of the boundary-free installations that transcend the various rooms, creep down the halls, communicate with other artworks, and sometimes even blend in with them.


ahead of its opening, designboom was taken on an exclusive guided tour of the museum with teamlab founder toshiyuki inoko, and director of mori building digital art museum, ou sugiyama to learn more about the monumental project and check-in on its progress so far.

mori building teamlab
flower forest: lost, immersed and reborn | image © designboom



located in the palette town complex of odaiba, the all-new museum concept is a collaborative initiative between mori building — a noted supporter of culture and art — and teamlab, the interdisciplinary creative group that utilizes digital technologies to express art. ‘borderless’ expresses the museum’s aim to tear down the boundaries between ‘one art and another’, ‘art and visitors’, and ‘oneself and others’, by allowing visitors to melt into the art and become part of it. visitors can loose themselves in the artworks, the installations morphing and transforming according to the presence of people. ‘as we immerse and meld ourselves into this unified world, we explore a continuity among people, as well as a new relationship that transcends the boundaries between people and the world,’ teamlab describes.

mori building teamlab
borderless main square | image courtesy of teamlab



installations such as ‘born from the darkness a loving, and beautiful world’, ‘flower forest’, and ‘black waves’ are continuously evolving, computer-generations that occupy three-dimensional space. together, they communicate, influence and sometimes intermingle with each other. human presence determines the activity of the artwork, and the physical influences and connections between the digital objects are calculated in real time, producing a complex and natural world. other artworks see seasons change gradually across the installation spaces, a seasonal year of flowers budding, growing, and blossoming before their petals begin to wither and eventually fade away.

mori building teamlab
borderless main square | image © designboom



teamlab’s ‘athletics forest’ is a new initiative that blends creativity with physical activity, promoting the growth of the brain, and training spatial awareness skills. visitors can experience three-dimensional light bouldering across sparkling gemstones, a space to jump high and sink low through ‘boing boing universe’, an area to navigate across floating, swinging bars, trying not to fall, and a large three-dimensional ‘mountain’ created with slopes of different elevations. by doing so, participants become immersed in interactive digital art across complex three-dimensional spaces that result in an impactful, physical and creative experience.

mori building teamlab
boing boing universe | image courtesy of teamlab



another facet of the ‘borderless’ exhibition is ‘future park’, an educational project and an experimental field for collaborative creation. teamlab asserts that humans learn about the world through interaction with others and by sharing experiences. through interactive artworks like ‘sketch aquarium’ and ‘sliding through the fruit field’, teamlab hopes that ‘through enjoying this co-creative experience people may become more creative in their everyday lives.’

mori building teamlab
boing boing universe | image © designboom



also featured is the artwork ‘flowers bloom in an infinite universe inside a teacup’. virtual flowers appear for the first time when tea is poured in the cup; however, when the drink is gone, the images disappear with it. the visuals are rendered in real time by a computer program and do not follow prerecorded video footage.

mori building teamlab
graffiti nature | image courtesy of teamlab



mori building and teamlab hope that their groundbreaking museum will inspire people to create enlightened new values and innovative social frameworks. see our preview of the exhibition here, and stay tuned for ongoing coverage as the museum begins to take shape. 

mori building teamlab
graffiti nature | image © designboom

mori building teamlab
aerial climbing through a flock of colored birds | image courtesy of teamlab

mori building teamlab
three-dimensional light bouldering | image courtesy of teamlab

mori building teamlab
a table where little people live | image courtesy of teamlab

mori building teamlab
sliding through the fruit field | image courtesy of teamlab

mori building teamlab
forest of resonating lamps | image courtesy of teamlab

mori building teamlab
forest of resonating lamps | image © designboom

mori building teamlab
black waves | image courtesy of teamlab

mori building teamlab
flowers bloom in an infinite universe inside a teacup | image courtesy of teamlab

mori building teamlab
mori building digital art museum | image courtesy of teamlab

mori building teamlab
toshiyuki inoko, CEO of teamlab (left); ou sugiyama, in charge of mori building digital art museum (right)
image © designboom


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