ZOETROPE, a new interactive exhibit housed in a concrete disk-shaped volume outside of the Thomas Heatherwick–designed Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, has the ambitious goal of interpreting how it feels to use electric-powered modes of travel.

Photo © Karl Rogers

British artist Esmeralda “Es” Devlin, celebrated for her kinetic structures and light-driven artwork, designed both the theater and 12 one-minute films that are projected on its round interior walls, taking visitors on an immersive virtual tour of locations around the South African capital.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Design Indaba, sponsor of an annual South Africa-based design festival of the same name, commissioned Devlin because of her award-winning portfolio of multimedia installations and set designs. Separately, she has also been invited to design the planned UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Her Cape Town exhibit ZOETROPE is powered by solar roof panels, and the physical pavilion is comprised of 72 concrete slabs arranged in a circle; poetically, the slabs were made with sand sourced from the sites Devlin focuses on in her short films. The installation will be open to the public for a year.