into the shell


Into the Shell will be an interactive art installation that reawakens the wonder of hearing the ocean in a seashell.

Audiences will enter a giant, 3D-printed, shell-inspired headdress to experience a generative oceanic lullaby in 3D spatialized sound.

We have designed the headdress, composed the music, and written the sound design algorithms.

Now we're working to bring it all together.




Creative Director, Founder // Smita Sen

Sound Designer// Joo Won Park

Set Designer // Aramael Peña-Alcantara

Creative Engineer // Jaycee Holmes

Lighting Designer // Christina Tang

Co-Producer // Siena Sofia Bergt

Co-Producer // Angela Wang





Artist's rendering of  Into the Shell  when completed and installed in an indoor space.

Artist's rendering of Into the Shell when completed and installed in an indoor space.

In our work, we use VR technology to bring people closer to nature and physical experiences, not further away from them.

(see MEDIA page for more)

The final installation will consist of a portable custom-designed room that audiences can enter. Inside, the shell-shaped headdress will be hanging from the ceiling.

The final installation will include a 30’’ tall 3D-printed, shell-inspired headdress fitted with spatialized audio design. The Bivalvia crown borrows visual inspiration from the drawings of biologist Ernst Haeckel. The shell headdress was designed by Smita Sen to recreate the intricacies of nature using 3D design technology. A spatialized sound system developed with an original algorithm will be installed inside the shell, playing an oceanic lullaby composed by Joo Won Park.  A web of proximity sensors inside the shell will generate a unique music experience for each listener. The immersive sonic experience offers a journey not only to the ocean, but also into memory. Bivalvia: Into the Shell is an attempt to use technology to evoke feelings that are at once fragile and universal.

The Process

The Bivalvia crown has been modeled using AutoDesk Maya and Rhino. The music is a combination of synthesized melodies and natural ocean sound samples spatialized by HRIR (Head-Related Impulse Response) convolution. The next step is to refine the 3D model and to create a larger, life-size headdress (~30'' tall) and to test different sound implementations. We are testing different acoustic chambers to a create a sonic experience that can be more immersive than wearing headphones. In the acoustic chamber, we plan to install a web of proximity sensors to generate a custom sound experience for each listener depending on how they move their head inside Bivalvia. When the product is complete, we plan to take Bivalvia: Into the Shell on tour internationally.


Smita Sen | Founder, Creative Director

Smita Sen | Founder, Creative Director

Smita Sen | founder, Creative director

Smita Sen is an experience designer and a multimedia visual artist. With her background in user experience and 3D CAD modeling, she serves on teams to design digital and hybrid physical-digital environments. Sen has served on the digital media and design teams at Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Discovery Communications, and the Urban Design Lab. Her portfolio includes design work for the Discovery Channel apps used by ~94M users; CMS and digital signage for the Moody Gardens Aquarium with ~2M visitors yearly; and linear media for a leading presidential library. With international leadership experience, Sen has led art and design teams in North America and the MENA region. Most recently, she led a team of eleven engineers as a Mentor at Make/Model, an event run by the New Museum's incubator, NEW INC. Sen is currently the Creative Director of Sen and Park Studio, leading a team of artists and engineers to design large-scale interactive installations. In her spare time, Sen enjoys writing; her work has received several awards and has been published with the Academy of American Poets. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University (2016).

As Creative Director and Producer, Sen created the Bivalvia Crown and leads the vision for the project. She brought together the team and worked with them to develop the user experience and interaction concept. She oversees financial, creative, and technological development, as well as organizational partnerships for Into the Shell.

Joo Won Park | Sound Designer

Joo Won Park | Sound Designer

Joo won park | sound designer

Joo Won Park is an Applied Mathematician and Sound Designer from South Korea. She came to New York City in 2013 to pursue Bachelor’s degree in  Applied Mathematics and Economics at Columbia University. At Columbia’s Computer Music Center, she explored application of math and technology in the world of electronic music. Since 2016, she has studied Virtual Reality audio as well as sound perception. Joo Won’s application of Head-Related Transfer Function and Mathematics in Virtual Reality audio projects were presented at various events such as NYC Media Lab (2016, 2017), and Audio Engineering Society Convention (2017). Her paper Audio Localization Method for VR application was published in Audio Engineering Society Journal in 2017. Previously, she worked as a research assistant at Professor Nima Mesgarani’s Neural Acoustic Processing Lab, and researched on brain-emulating architecture of unsupervised Neural Network. Currently, she is pursuing Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics, expected to graduate in May 2018. She is currently an Analyst at Sony Music Entertainment.

As Sound Designer, Joo Won developed the interactive audio technology and composed original music for Into the Shell. She leads the technology development.

Siena Sofia Bergt | Co-Producer

Siena Sofia Bergt | Co-Producer


Coming soon

Aramael Pena-Alcantara | Set Designer, Build Director

Aramael Pena-Alcantara | Set Designer, Build Director


Aramael Peña-Alcantara is a Set Designer and Build Director. A PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering at MIT, Aramael has led projects that offer powerful storytelling through creative structural design and innovative technology. Aramael was previously a Disney Imagineer, working on Shanghai Disney Resort's Pirates of the Caribbean experience. He developed the multi-person interactive concept and the installation design for Into the Shell to take it to new heights.

Jaycee Holmes | Creative Engineer

Jaycee Holmes | Creative Engineer


Jaycee is a Seattle-based programmer and designer. An alumna of Spelman College with a BS in Mathematics, Jaycee earned her Masters at the Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) at New York University, where she developed content and platforms for mixed reality. 

Past work includes developing an augmented reality interface for data visualization as a 2017 Bloomberg Prototyping Research Fellow, an educational game design project, built in Unity, for the Clare Booth Luce Research Foundation, a pop-up museum exhibit following the work of NYU Law School's Immigrant Rights Clinic, an iOS AR application exploring the evolution of media consumption and the rise of fake news for A+E Networks, and a website,, that documents racism in New York City. More than anything, Jaycee is passionate about intersecting STEAM and social justice. 

Image to come soon

Image to come soon

christina tang | LIGHTING DESIGNER

Christina Tang is the Lighting Designer for our project. A fixture in the New York City theatre scene, Tina has led lighting, electrical, and scenic design for the Corkscrew Theatre Festival, Fringe Festival, and Glicker Milstein Summer Theatre Festival. She currently serves on the technical teams at Lincoln Center and the Rubin Museum. Tina is leading the lighting design for Into the Shell.

Angela Wang | Co-Producer

Angela Wang | Co-Producer

ANgela Wang | Co-Producer

Angela Wang is the Assistant Producer for the Bivalvia project. Angela was a Computer Science major at Columbia University, where she graduated in May 2017. She currently works in the asset management industry and is the newest member of our team.

David Polinchock | Advisor

David Polinchock | Advisor

david polinchock | advisor

David Polinchock is the Advisor on this project. David is the former Director of the PwC Experience Center, working in emerging technologies and innovation, and the former Director of the AT&T AdWorks Lab. A pioneer in Virtual Reality storytelling, he led many of the earliest advertising projects in VR. Some of his amazing work can be read at his blog, David has been an enormous source of support on this project, advising the Bivalvia team throughout.

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