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Meet Heather Shaw of Vita Motus Design Studio in Eagle Rock

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Shaw.

Heather, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began my arts education at ArtCenter College of Design, studying the science behind industry-leading transportation design. Once I graduated, I joined Audi and specialized in concept vehicle exteriors and future energy products.

I quickly began applying design strategies beyond the automotive world toward my passion and community rooted in festival culture and live music entertainment. My curiosity was met with successful momentum, resulting in the birth of Vita Motus Design Studio.

A fateful collaboration with Brazilian experimental sound artist Amon Tobin, on his 2011 ISAM Tour established Vita Motus as an industry force. This set design pioneered the incorporation of video-mapping technology into live performance, setting trends that came to define the competition.

In the decade since inception, Vita Motus has developed into a mature entity with a deep bench of expertise in automotive, industrial, architectural, and environmental design, as well as in festivals, touring, and event production.

75+ projects delivered worldwide
Seven set designs for television ranging from 8 million to 3.9 billion viewers
Six innovative brand activations with Fortune 500 global brands
Nine futuristic 360° immersive festival stages in 5 major countries
15 renowned, highly profitable touring stages
21 unique architectural structures ranging in size from 200 – 37,331 sqft
Four virtual shows

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our industry, the live entertainment world, has been severely affected by Covid-19 and its necessary safety mandates. Historically our business has come from concert touring stages, festival environments, interactive immersive art installations, branded live events, and TV show stages. Since the beginning of March, we have worked double time to shift our creative energies into the digital space and innovative new formats for IRL events to help re-open our industry. We’re currently brainstorming with brands, agencies, festivals, and artist management teams to come up with exciting, forward-thinking events be it IRL, virtual, or both. It’s been really uplifting to find inspiration in these strange times. (See our beta live stream test product here: https://vimeo.com/410381935)

While we’re so grateful for all that has come our way, both good and bad, Vita Motus has been created through working hard, focusing on our passion, refusing to bend to adversity, and respecting our communities.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Vita Motus Design Studio – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Vita Motus is a multi-disciplinary production design firm driven by artistic passion and grounded in industrial expertise. We pride ourselves on the creation of ground-breaking concepts, high tech productions, and inspirational sculptural installations for major artists, festivals, and brands.

We believe design has a responsibility to be engaging and impactful, and there is limitless potential to authentically inspire in the realms where artist and audience intersect. Our goal is to buck convention and artificial limitations in order to create technologically and creatively informed concepts that will amplify this connection between art and audience.

Our studio’s journey and accumulated perspective is unique, running deep into festival culture, and a close global community of creatives. While we operate amongst a field of talented competition, few can execute our signature balance of expressive form and calculated utility all under one roof.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that adversity often presents opportunities we might otherwise miss and provides us with a chance to innovate. We choose to see this as an inspiring time to dig even deeper.

It’s increasingly clear that the current livestream format will not prove commercially viable for long term entertainment and content communication. The live event industries need solutions that can scale, deliver, and help support an industry and fan engagement.

Between the dynamic virtual worlds and adapted IRL experiences we’re creating, we believe this moment will act as a turning point for curated content. The possibilities are endless, and we want to help lay the foundation. The next evolution of these in-engine live broadcast is a fully gamefied and interactive product. While digital experiences will never replace live events, the opportunities to enhance and augment them with integrated technology is the future of fan participation.

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