At 837, Samsung’s flagship NYC store and experience space, how could we design an interactive installation that used Samsung’s products to create emotional connections between people and technology?
Our answer was to set 837 apart with a completely new type of experience. Two of our founders (previously founders of BlackEgg) worked with Kenzo Digital to create an experience that led visitors through a mind-bending installation of their own social media history meshed with Samsung products. By passing through the installation, each individual’s own past, present and future were used as raw material to create ultra-personal, meaningful reflections. A two-part experience, Social Galaxy begins with an infinitely reflected tunnel of Samsung screens filled with the personal Instagram content of each participant, hashtags narrated by a soundscape of multiple male and female voices reading them aloud. The personal past becomes a dynamic and present technological and all encompassing experience. This is followed by entrance into a three-story tall LED screen that ultimately connects guests to the entire 837 community through personal portraits of each participant at a photo booth using a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone. Each portrait is made up of thousands of small images pulled from the personal Instagram feed of each participant, as well as the collective pool of past 837 visitors’ Instagram feeds – a reflection of self as a culmination of individual and community experiences. Social Galaxy was able to use memories to synthesize technology and identity in an immersive, emotional, and impactful way. A physical synthesis of technology and identity.
Guests enter their Instagram handle into a keypad and enter a tunnel filled with Samsung screens, comprised of TVs, tablets and phones. Immediately, they are surrounded by imagery from their Instagram account on every screen - allowing them to experience, examine, and reflect on moments in the past and present in a new and meaningful way. Upon entering the tunnel, every screen features a different hashtag, while a soundscape of multiple male and female voices read them aloud. As guests move forward through the tunnel, the screens continually change the content pulled from their Instagram feeds - from hashtags to single images, then collages of images on every screen, and finally, text from posts to a mix of everything together. The soundscape vocalizes the text, followed by vocal descriptions of all images at the end of the tunnel.
The exterior of the Installation is covered in a black matte material with the exception of the peephole wall, which consists of 9 mirror panels each containing an LED light surrounded peephole. Nine peepholes were arranged in the center of each panel all at different heights. THE LED’s around each peep hole look like pulsating solar systems from afar. As the visitor approaches them they notice that the peep holes are moving, creating a vortex like movement drawing them into the installation. Upon closer inspection, the pulsating solar systems are optical illusions that create the illusion of depth and movement through light and perspective play. The peep holes are arranged to maximize the effect as they are arranged pointing towards the center of the installation, creating subtle illusion as a visitor walks past the installation or looks at it from afar. For the standard peephole, Visitors are able to take a photo of the inside perspective with their phones.