See Saw — Exhibition

Identity, Physical, Digital, Environmental

Overview

Outcomes

Details

Summary

For the 2017 Seattle Are Fair our studio devised an immersive space for children and their families to explore and interact with concepts in art and design. The playful exhibition consisted of five activations corresponding to five design tools: scale, color, type, shapes, and the grid.

Background

The Seattle Art Fair, founded in 2015 by Paul Allen,  brings together over 100 international art galleries, museums and arts institutions. During the four day fair they have over 18,000 attendees. Galleries showcase work from contemporary and historic artists, including Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Yayoi Kusama, Pablo Picasso, Gary Hill, Andy Goldsworthy, Mark Rothko, Dan Webb, Riusuke Fukahori, John Grade, McArthur Binion and Kurt Cobain.

Organization Type

Children’s Interactive Installation

Assignment

Create an interactive space for kids ages three and up for the 2017 Seattle Art Fair

Challenge

The art fair attracts people of all ages. As such, we wanted to create an experience that would be educational and interesting for anyone that attended the fair.

Client

Art Market Productions and Vulcan, Inc.

Years

2017 — Present

Location

Seattle, WA USA

Approach

We were immediately inspired by the materials created by Visual Magnetics, which we had previously worked with on a concept booth for Design Milk at ICFF in New York. The magnetic textiles seamlessly lend themselves to being manipulated and played with.

With Visual Magnetics signed on as a partner we began concepting alongside Fruitsuper Design, a design duo inspired by the interactivity of simple playful shapes and design history.

We wanted to create a space where children and adults alike could physically play with the tools of visual communication — Shape, Color, Scale, Type and the Grid, so we created a hands–on visual communication station.

The installation was composed of magnetic textiles that could be moved, stacked, or combined to create new pictures, words and ideas. We designed a movable type wall where you could construct new words by breaking apart magnetic shapes that form letters. Through different size balloons, they could take with them, they gained an understanding about scale. They learned how the world is made up of simple shapes by spotting the shapes found in pictures hidden on the walls. And they constructed their own city within a grid to learn the importance of structure.

We also designed coloring activity worksheets and a coloring book where children could learn about influential artists and designers who have used these tools in their own work.

Research

History of Kindergarten, Noguchi Playscapes, Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color

Reach

  • The art fair drew over 18,000 attendees, with several thousand moving through and interacting with See Saw

Quote

“The only booth I’ve ever seen at an American art fair that intentionally shifts the commerce–driven dynamic of the art fair model to be inclusive, accessible, and education based. Politics and Play. So smart and inventive.”

—Branden Koch

Components

Animations, Identity Manual, Print Collateral System, Digital Collateral System, Environmental and Exhibition Graphic System, Promotional Print Materials, Exhibition Concept and Strategy

See Saw is an interactive space where children and their families can physically interact with elements of visual communication.
I

The See Saw installation is composed of five interactive sections corresponding to five tools used by graphic designers: color, type, scale, shape, and the grid. Photo by Joe Freeman, courtesy of Seattle Art Fair.

II

Coloring book takeaways showcasing works by iconic artists and graphic designers that children can explore and color, some of which include pieces by Robert Indiana, Yayoi Kusama, and Otl Aicher.

III

A child hanging out at the coloring station. Photo by Megumi Arai.

IV

Children building a city with the polarized magnetic textiles in the Grid room, illustrating how grids can help you arrange and align shapes and objects. Video by Megumi Arai.

V

A custom alphabet composed of shapes can be mixed and combined to form new letters and words.

VI

A child builds a city in the grid room.

( ( SHAKEN ) )