Mission CTRL is a group project created by the class of 2015 Products of Design students at the School of Visual Arts. The concept is a result of a 10 week course called Design Performance led by Sinclair Smith. The course is an upgrade to the traditional Exhibition Design course, and pushes the concept of getting away from the booth and pedestals when exhibiting work. The assignment’s brief was to enhance the experience of the design exhibition Wanted Design during New York’s design week. Apart of a sixteen person group project designer Brandon Washington had an opportunity to take a leadership role during the design and construction phase in order to focus the project and keep the momentum going to execute the project successfully and on time.
During the ideation phase he proposed an idea of creating an analog social media intervention. The idea showed sketches of a rolling Instagram frame that visitors could write comments on with dry erase markers, a GIFs machine that would create GIFs in real time, signs with hash tags of “hot” design words on one side and the definitions on the back, and rolls of tape that were blank with a hash tag so visitors can create their own hash tags and stick it on to anything or anyone at the show. This concept had a large part in the decision of the overall theme of turning social media into a tangible experience.
Following – This staged happening is inspired by following people on social media. A group of three plus a post barrier will choose a person that seems interesting to follow around for a moment through the exhibition. The followers mimic the actions of the person being followed while looking at all the things the person is checking out around the exhibition. The combination of post and following aims to create trends and moments of fame around the people and the objects being shown within the exhibit.
Post – Essentially this is a statement or status update that will be hoisted in the air by an extending post. Three posts are white boards and are written with dry eraser markers. This type of post can be written and changed very quickly. Two of the posts are metal and the statement is written with magnetic letters, reminiscent of writing messages on a refrigerator. And all of the signs were able to take a custom letter stamped message created on paper. Once the “post” is created it is launched by extending the post to the height of almost eight feet.
Press – Press is a cart that allows the exhibition goers to create statements with the deliberate and tedious experience of a letter press. The messages created by the letter press have the capability to be “launched” by any Post, by sliding it into the Post’s frame.
Portal – This object/experience was developed from the desire to urge the exhibition goers to clear their minds and be open to the experience of the exhibition. Design lovers go to many shows during design week and it can be quite draining. Portal is a door like frame and when a visitor walks through; Portal makes a “space-age” like sound that aims to surprise and rejuvenate the visitor.
Swag– The fan was the exhibition's physical like button. It took the form of an auction like paddle, that visitors would ideally hold up to the exhibitors to let them know that they are a fan. Mission Ctrl also gave away branded objects like tote bags and stickers.