Luke Bretnall

A Liminal Walk

Bachelor of Design Public Space Exhibition and event design Public Surface

An awareness of self in space.

(noun) Liminal: derived from the Latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold -


A place of transition, ambiguity, and transformation.


‘A Liminal Walk’ explores the ritual phases of separation, transition, and incorporation into the spatial context of Fort Lane. These phases are found within liminal spaces. Physical liminal space creates dis-orientation and ambiguity through the application of layering, blurring, and dissolution. During these moments, occupants gain the strongest understanding and awareness of themselves in the space they inhabit.

This installation separates occupants from the normal spatial structure of Fort Lane and into a transitional space that sheds a new perspective towards their surrounding environment. A moment of awareness of self in space.

The purpose of this installation is to strengthen the interrelationship between people and the urban landscape they inhabit.

My project is a public installation located within Fort Lane. Its purpose is to create an environment that encourages an awareness of self in space. The disconnection between people and the environment of Fort Lane provides an opportunity to recreate this interrelationship, and rekindle the spark of entertainment and play that Fort Lane was once so famous for.

In order to create this experience, I have focused on utilizing liminal space for this to occur. Moving through the phase's separation, transition, and incorporation will encourage occupants to experience a stronger awareness of self in space.

Liminal space is a concept that originates from anthropology, the study of human behavior and societal structures. When an individual goes through an important transition during their lifetime such as a marriage or a baptism, the individual experiences liminal space. They will separate from their previous social identity and transition into a new identity, incorporating back into the societal structure.

This project focuses on the translation of liminal phases into a spatial environment and experience.

In response to the cinematic exploration of the brief, I viewed Fort Lane as a series of scenes through the eyes of a director. Utilizing cinematic techniques, such as framing and spatial relations, helped to translate the site information into a physical design.

Within the separation and incorporation phases, occupants are subtly enticed into the space through the angling and obscurity of the panels. Once occupants enter the transition space, things start to become more ambiguous and dis-orientating as the level of fragmentation, layering, and blurring increases.

The overall intention of this spatial journey is for occupants to experience a greater awareness of self in space, through the framing and positioning of the installation.