Ice Cave at Starbucks Immersive Experience

In May 2017, The Institute of Flavourology (Gingerline) approached us about an exciting idea for a new project: a Starbucks immersive event.

Commissioned by Starbucks, The Institute of Flavourology set out to create a unique experience, exploring the cold side of craft coffee. Using coffee to take subjects on a ‘sensory exploration of flavour, smell and texture’ inspired by Starbucks’ newest cold drinks.


The Shoreditch-based venue was used to create four different areas: three ‘experimental’ areas – Regression Therapy, Social Activity and Sensory Stimulation – and one final briefing area called The Exit.

  • Regression Therapy
    Test subjects entered the ‘coffee bean ball pit’ via a slide and encouraged to remember the first moment they tasted coffee.
  • Social Activity
    Subjects were asked to explore the ice cave as a team to find various ingredients to assemble their own dish.
  • Sensory Stimulation
    The final stage required the subjects to immerse themselves in all their senses; touch, sight, sound, smell and taste.
  • The Exit
    The subjects were ejected from the experiment on a conveyor belt into the Test Facility’s briefing area where they were given an evaluation.


Working with the client, we proposed the best ways to highlight key features of each area:

  • Regression Therapy
    In this space, we created a bespoke ‘roasting oven’, with fake heating elements to portray the coffee bean roasting room. We installed EVS40 speakers to play sound effects and ambient music.
  • Sensory Stimulation
    As this space was a more ‘chill out’ room, we supplied audio and a series of headphone jacks were distributed around the room playing calm music – encouraging patrons to sit and relax.
  • Social Activity
    We rigged automated lighting fixtures, and placed hidden buttons around the room that the experience host could press. When pressed it triggered cue stacks on Qlab4 to automate a variety of different lighting movements, coluors and patterns around the room.
  • The Exit
    The way to exit the Sesnory Stimilation room was via a tunnel similar to an airport security roller platform. Using Philips IP strips for to line the tunnel, we created a space-esque lighting chase for the users journey back to the entrance.


2 x Martin F10 speakers
12 x EV S-40 5″ speakers
Motu 828 mk3 hybrid interface
L-Acoustics LA48 & LA48a amps

Mac Book Pro 13″ PSU
Lite Deck 4′ x 4′

4 x Philips Showline LED Bar 10 IP
10 x LED Parcan 220watt RGBWAUV
2 x Opti Solar 250
2 x AnyTronics 192 D605 Dimmer
1.25kw Flood light
Tube contoller
LED 1m Tubes

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