Meow Wolf Co-Founder Departs Organization to Launch Immersive Art Spa in Austin

by Jessica Fuentes May 8, 2024

Corvas Brinkerhoff, one of the co-founders of the arts and entertainment company Meow Wolf, has announced that he is leaving the organization and launching Submersive, a spa that combines immersive art and neuroscience in Austin.

A digital rendering of a spa featuring blue lights.

Submersive rendering by Lua Brice

Submersive will open in a 25,000-square-foot space in 2026. The location has not yet been disclosed to the public, however, it will include spa experiences such as saunas, steam rooms, pools, and cold plunges, with light, sound, video, and other interactive technologies. The intention is to provide opportunities for guests to have transformative and therapeutic experiences.

In a press release, Mr. Brinkerhoff explained, “At Submersive, we believe there’s an opportunity to go beyond relaxation, to create environments that transport us into elevated states like awe, wonder, euphoria, inspiration, connection, and even transcendence.”

A photograph of creative Corvas Brinkerhoff.

Corvas Brinkerhoff. Photo by Kate Russell

Beyond being a co-founder of the organization, Mr. Brinkerhoff led the collective’s use of technology as Technical Director of Meow Wolf’s original Santa-Fe-based site, House of Eternal Return, Executive Creative Director of Omega Mart in Las Vegas, and Senior Vice President of Experience Design at Convergence Station. Meow Wolf CEO Jose Tolosa said, “Corvas’ creativity and vision played a pivotal role in establishing Meow Wolf as a leader and innovator in immersive experiences.”

Mr. Brinkerhoff has researched bathhouses throughout the world, including places in Europe, Japan, and Istanbul. Subversive will blend traditional bathhouse experiences with immersive installations based in neuroaesthetics, a field of study that explores how art positively impacts the brain. Notably, Mr. Brinkerhoff is working with Susan Magsamen, founder and director of the International Arts + Mind Lab, Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Ms. Magsamen shared, “I see the evidence-based design of spaces to be a revolution, long overdue. Innovating to intentionally create spaces for diverse mood states will result in enormous positive changes on individual and societal levels.”

A digital rendering of two people sitting in a circular spa with glowing lights around them.

Submersive rendering by Lua Brice

An article on Fast Company revealed that the space will include 12 rooms that surround a central hub. The rooms will feature unique spaces that offer different temperatures and buoyancies of water, light colors, and moods. While visitors can choose to navigate the space in whatever order they prefer, the Submersive team is currently developing an “AI-powered quiz” that will provide suggested routes.

Additional advisors on the project include Beau Lotto, a neuroscientist, professor, and CEO of Lab of Misfits and Beautiful Mind Learning Labs, and B. Joseph Pine, co-author of the 1999 book The Experience Economy, which predicted the rise of companies like Meow Wolf that focus on experiences over goods and services.

While Mr. Brinkerhoff is currently focused on bringing the Austin location to fruition, he anticipates that the project will “scale into new markets.” In regards to why he has chosen Austin as the city to launch this new venture, Mr. Brinkerhoff said, “We love that Austin is a hub for forward-thinking individuals who embrace new and interesting ideas. We think it’s a perfect place to launch our brand.”

Learn more about Submersive and get updates on the project via the company’s website.

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