ASSEMBLY OF YOUTH

Problem Statement:

The Assembly of Youth

 

Google Creative Lab commissioned the studio to create ‘Assembly of Youth’, a temporary, sculptural installation at the hall of the UN Assembly in New York. A project that signified a partnership between Google, UNICEF and 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund.

 

The installation comprises of 47 free-standing figurative wooden sculptures, each containing an individual LED screen and a speaker, arranged in a semi-circle surrounding a central unit to create an immersive yet simple environment in which the data can be absorbed.

 

The installation aggregates data generated by UNICEF’s platform UReport, a free, SMS- based system that enables young people to speak out on what’s happening in communities across their country, and work together with other community leaders and policymakers for positive change, bolstered with additional data sources from Google.

 

Location: New York

Date: 2015

Client: UNICEF

Commissioned by: Google Creative Labs

Role: Installation design

My role in the process

At UVA we didn't have a UX designer, we were a mixed team of multidisciplinary creatives spanning all kinds of art and design, architects, lighting designers, sound designers, creative technologists, developers, makers, photographers.

We all collectively were part of the UX decisions made, more often than not that was focused around how can we make the viewer feel, how can we give them an experience they won't forget. Below I have documented the process from idea to reality and some of the UX thoughts around the decisions made.

UX questions
  • What function will the instillation perform?

  • How many audience members will the installation need to accommodate? 

  • Will the footfall change over the duration of the exhibition?

  • How should it be laid out to provide the best view?

  • What would be the desired effect on the audience?

We took into consideration using different shapes and how they would affect the viewer. The shape of the units makes a huge difference, with the circle creating a feeling of unity. It also means that when the viewer approaches they will always be looking at the backs of the figures

signifying a centralised singular focus. Once the viewer enters the center of the ring they themselves become the focus.

All the screens and all the many answers to the question directed at the viewer, even without the information on the screens they are taken on an emotional journey from an outsider, member to the leader or in this case person who has the power to change children's lives.

The initial concept for an idea of wall to wall screens. In a time of information overload, it was decided that we needed to make them more human. This was poignant as we also want the viewer to absorb the information as if it was spoken by a person.  As a result of this conversation, I began making maquettes exploring combinations of shapes.

After consideration a more simple form was chosen, within the form, there is still variation as we want the viewer to see that no 2 shapes are identical.

There was no way to make a standard semi circle work in the space, as the main viewing point is people passing through the atrium. We knew it was essential to leave space to allow viewers to walk around and within the installation.