Designing a Mars-themed Event
As the grand opening of the Smith Learning Theater approached, the Design Team at EdLab was involved in producing the theater's inaugural event. The theme of the event was Mars colonization, and the audience was guided through a series of playful activities, in which they were introduced to small nuggets of information about Mars.
The main objective of the project was to showcase the full potential of the space while providing a fun interactive experience. It was a large collaborative effort among different teams at EdLab, including the Design Team, Services Team and Media Team, and some help from the Publishing Team.
My main role in this project was spearheading the visual design, production of various signages, insignias and game pieces, and setup. I participated in some of the test runs as an audience to observe other participants during the experience.
I was responsible for selecting a typeface and designing insignias to be used in the activities. These insignias set the overall branding of the event, and these designs were used in the signage, game pieces and props, and projections. I paid particular attention to selecting four distinctive colors that worked for colorblind audience as well, as the colors were an important element in one of the activities during the event.
Below is the final set of insignias.
Production of Badges
The badges were made out of acrylic sheets. It was a labor-intensive process that involved careful planning of laser cutting, masking and spray painting.
Signage Design and Production
Another main task I had was to design and fabricate various signages for the event. Based on the visual design I had developed for the insignias, I created signs that were installed inside the "spaceships" and banners for the initial gathering area.
Creating the Game Pieces
One of the activities resembled a board game. My task was to refine and fabricate the game maps and pieces. The game pieces were created using spray-painted plywood and laser cutter.
Part of the Mars Colonization experience included a view of the Mars landscape from within the hypothetical spaceship. I was tasked with designing a "spaceship window" for this view, so that the audience would feel like they were inside a spaceship . The challenge was getting the scale right, as the projection spanned an entire wall of the theater. After a few trial and errors, I was able to make a window that aligned with the physical elements of the theater, such as the doors and the exit signs.