One Blue Voice 

11th Hour Racing and The Ocean Race

A story-led immersive experience that advocates for ocean life. The One Blue Voice immersive experience, presented by 11th Hour Racing, was designed to inspire visitors at the ports along the route of sailing's most challenging round-the-world race, The Ocean Race 2022-23.

Commissioned by 11th Hour Racing, in collaboration with The Ocean Race, Tellart built a story-led interactive space that invites visitors to connect to the ocean from the joyful perspective of sailors, but one that also sees firsthand how they are threatened by the devastating impact of human activity.

The experience was designed to inspire a deep emotional, empathetic connection with the ocean and understand the urgency required to save it. Guests at each Race Village were transported aboard an IMOCA60 sailing yacht racing offshore and taken below the surface to learn how our ability to thrive is inseparable from the health of the ocean. Visitors discover the world of marine animals, seagrass and the tiny phytoplankton that are the foundation of the marine food chain, supporting all life in our ocean.

Using design craft and emerging technologies, we led the strategic storytelling and concept development to the final script, hand-painting and animating One Blue Voice’s 3D worlds, composing the original musical score and overseeing the bilingual narration and performance of all instruments, recordings and production of the spatial audio experience.

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The Water Table

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The Water Table in One Blue Voice’s ‘airlock’ is an invitation to discover empathy for the ocean and leads guests towards a spatial transition through the pavilion from surface to depths, to discover everything the ocean does for us and what we can do in turn to protect it.

Guests are greeted with rippling light forms as a woman’s voice comes through the water, calling visitors to dip their hands in the interactive ocean table in the entrance. Her questions stir memories and emotions of our experiences with the sea. The soundscape uses the modular synth from the experience’s original soundscape to produce generative algorithmic sounds, and rumble pads placed under the water table to give a sensory response.

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The Pavilion


In the main pavilion space, guests are transported from a sailor’s perspective above the waves, to an underwater world that visually and sonically envelops them. Tellart’s in-house team hand-painted and animated the surrounding 3D worlds that bring the ocean empathetically to life for guests. In the centre
of the room is LILLI, an immersive, volumetric, reflective lightfield display, designed and created by Tyler Schoeppner at 11th Hour Racing. We created a full 360-degree viewable animation within LILLI, and animated each marine character’s worlds across the walls surrounding it.


We wanted to ensure each character builds a connection with its audience, even for those that are ‘faceless’, like seagrass meadows which are essential for life, yet little understood because it is responsible for sequestering the most carbon on our planet. One Blue Voice’s giant seagrass meadows invite guest interaction, and by doing so, places them at the heart of a bigger ecological picture. Guests influence this ocean environment through their movement, playfully creating relationships with the underwater world around them.

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The ocean as a sonic soundscape: world-building with music.

One Blue Voice features an original 8-minute score, written and recorded for the narration, as well as a non-linear composition which is part of the interactivity of the world building. The sound design was crafted from new and archival field and instrumental recordings, and was designed to lead guests spatially through the visual story unfolding around them.

We added hydrophone recordings of seagrass meadows and spent time in the studio recording additional foley to build our unique sonic, underwater world. The show's interactive section includes a collection of unique tones and sounds that are individual to and generated by guest movement. As visitors play with dynamic underwater meadows of seagrass before them, the soundscape interacts with them too, encouraging connection and the urgent understanding that we depend on each other to thrive.

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Impact

Tellart helps people imagine futures and how the decisions they make today have downstream implications. Guests are encouraged to participate in the action room, where they learn how they can create impact in their communities to improve ocean health. Over 32,000 people were inspired to sign the One Blue Voice petition that was presented to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2023 in support of a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights.

The experience builds empathy with the idea that these living waters have the same right to safety as we do. The ocean needs our protection — but no less than we need it.

“This is more than a sailing race. We are in a race to save everything that lives beneath our boats. This is for The Race Below — a race against time to save the ocean that gives our planet life.”

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"As the climate crisis intensifies, design can be a powerful tool to inspire positive change for the ocean. The One Blue Voice Immersive Experience, created in collaboration with Tellart, 11th Hour Racing, and The Ocean Race, inspired more than 32,000 people from 178 countries to sign a petition for ocean rights. Tellart led the research, script, design, animation, musical score and spatial audio, real-time interaction, and projection mapping, bringing an immersive and magical experience to 7 ports around the world." 

Tyler Schoeppner, Data Visualization Specialist, 11th Hour Racing

 

“Our goal was to guide guests through a fully immersive story, so they felt like they were inside the story itself. The narrative deepens further with the added interactivity of the seagrass meadows. This new way of storytelling drives home how intimately interconnected we are with the world around us. Immersive storytelling has huge potential to create lasting, transformational experiences and, as seen through the petition signatures the experience collected, inspire real action.”

Sabrina Verhage, Technology Director, Tellart

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Project Data

Highlights:

  • A full in-house production, from 3D modelling and animation, to show control and sound design.
  • The One Blue Voice Pavilion welcomed 138,600 visitors. Over the seven months of the race, 1.8 million visitors visited the various Ocean Live Park set-ups in the 8 stopover cities.
  • The experience inspired more than 32,000 people to sign the petition for ocean rights.
  • The full installation travelled to Alicante (ES), Newport (US), Genoa (IT) and New York (US).
  • The exhibit features bilingual sound design in Spanish and English.

Awards:

  • Nominee, European Design Awards 2024

Credits:

  • Commissioned by 11th Hour Racing, in collaboration with The Ocean Race
  • Tellart - experience design, 3D animation, post production, interactive, sound design and integration
  • Tellart - Photography & film
  • Oxido Studio - Furniture fabrication