MISSION CTRL

an analog means of experiencing and sharing an exhibition

Taking place during Design Week 2014 at Wanted Design, Mission CTRL is a suite of design interventions that take the digital to analog, using social media as a catalyst. 

– Concept Development, Creative Direction, Project Management –


Mission CTRL is a group project created by myself and fellow classmates of the 2015 Products of Design program at the School of Visual Arts. Given the opportunity of a booth for our class to exhibit work in the Wanted Design show, Mission CTRL moves away from the traditional form of presenting work on a pedestal and breaks away from the display booth itself. This mobile exhibition aimed to enhance the experience of attending the exhibition as a whole.  

Mission CTRL fosters communication between vendors and visitors. Traditionally, those displaying work in an exhibition setting are confined to their booths waiting for visitors to come by and engage with their work. Mission CTRL acts as a social lubricant between those displaying and those viewing work. The experience is broken down into a suite of analog interventions taking inspiration from digital social behaviors: #PORTAL, #PRESS, #POST, #FOLLOW, #FAN.

#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 official arrived. 

#POST is 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 allows visitors to create statements with the deliberate and somewhat tedious process of a letterpress. The messages created by #PRESS are then "launched" by #POST and shared throughout the crowd. 

#FOLLOW is a nod to celebrating trends. With this staged happening, a group literally follows a visitor around the exhibition with a custom #POST that expresses his or her trend-setting qualities. The followers mimic the actions of the person being followed while looking at all the things the person is checking out around the show. All in good fun. 

The combination of #POST and #FOLLOW create trends and moments of fame around the people and objects being shown within the exhibit. 

#FAN is 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.

Each intervention questioned the importance and worthiness of everything we say online, and sought to create conversation and expose what was actually being discussed. Through a playful series of dynamic, participatory installations, Mission CTRL celebrates the design community at large, and invites visitors to put away their devices and interact with each other IRL.