View more photos and the process on the project blog
Mission Ctrl is an exhibition of new work appearing at NYCxDesign's Wanted Design, 16-19 May, 2014. It is the result of a ten-week class titled “Design Performance” taught by Sinclair Smith, which explores design exhibition beyond the pedestal, focusing in on interaction, participation, and staging new behaviors. The outcome is a suite of design interactions created and performed as a collaborative effort of 16 students, including myself, from the SVA Products of Design program.
Mission Ctrl aims to foster communication between vendors at Wanted and visitors. Traditionally, those displaying work at the show are confined to their booths waiting for people to engage with their work. Mission Ctrl acts as a social lubricant between those displaying work and those viewing it. This suite of interventions took inspiration from digital social behaviors and turned them into physical, analog experiences.
This physicalizes the digital experience of "logging in." By stepping through #PORTAL, each visitor is surprised by the unique sound of this large scale theremin, triggered by internal sensors, letting them know they have official arrived. #PORTAL physicalizes the digital experience of "logging in." By stepping through #PORTAL, each visitor is surprised by the unique sound of this large scale theremin, triggered by internal sensors, letting them know they have officially arrived.
A messaging system encouraging visitors to communicate with the rest of the crowd; essentially a tweet or status update that exists in real space and time. Messages are created by visitors and are displayed in the form of magnetic letters (reminiscent of writing messages on a refrigerator), dry erase markers on white board and letterpressed paper. They then are hoisted on posts above the crowd to a height of nearly eight feet, viewable above the crowds.
#PRESS is a mobile cart that provides a rich, interactive way to create and share messages. It builds in time and labor into the process, painstakingly stamping out messages to be displayed throughout the Wanted exhibit on mobile signs.
The combination of #POST and #FOLLOW create trends and moments of fame around the people and objects being shown within the exhibit. The messages created by #PRESS are then "launched" by #POST and shared throughout the crowd.
A nod to celebrating trends by literally following a Wanted visitor around with a custom sign that expresses his or her trend-setting qualities until that person notices what is happening. All in good fun.
The exhibits physical "like" button. It's form references auction paddles. By holding up #FAN visitors can let exhibitors know that they like their work.
The project in itself required our entire group to play a role – whether manning the press stand, walking around and engaging exhibit visitors with post, or facilitating interactions with the portal. The entire team wore Mission CTRL uniforms, which were specifically designed to communicate the futuristic era the brand stands for. The interactive nature of the design performance drives home our larger mission – to get away from the booth and pedestals when exhibiting work, and enhance the experience of the exhibit by acting as a social lubricant between those displaying work and those viewing it.