Projects in Process: SVA Interaction Design Department Installation, Day 1

Yesterday, we started a new project for the School of Visual Arts department for interaction design, where one of us (Jennifer) is on the faculty. They’ve graciously allowed us to blog our project together as part of our Projects in Process series.

SVA’s interaction design department is a new graduate-level program, and as such, it is just getting established in their physical space. The department hired Kicker to create an installation that would reside in the hallway, and is visible as soon as you step off the elevators into the new department. Posters hang there now:


The installation is supposed to help students and visitors explore the department and to showcase students’ work in an engaging and interactive manner. “Not a slideshow.”

In the kickoff meeting we discussed the success metrics, namely that it should “cause a traffic jam.” People should want to explore it and there should be a compelling reason to interact with it. The aesthetic effect the piece should have (reflective of the department) were summed up in these phrases:

  • Lively, active community
  • Diversity in background, working towards common goals
  • Strategic, playful, exploratory yet directed

We took these phrases and decided to start by making an impression mosaic to help jumpstart ideas for when we start brainstorming:

What struck us as the moodboard came together was how much movement, especially sideways movement there was in the images. Which, of course, makes sense because the piece is in a hallway. Thematically, of course, this also makes sense because graduate school (like all schools) should be about transition: moving from one stage of development to another. Space imagery also kept appearing, which tied in with the idea of directed exploration.

Now that there are some ideas floating around, we began thinking of metaphors to frame the piece. Stay tuned for more as this project progresses…