Our boundless optimism for technology has waned in the face of unrelenting news about social media distortion, privacy invasion, and the negative effects from our collective addiction to our iPhones. People are seeking positivity in the healing power of the analog, hungry for social experiences they can share and unite around.
In answer to that hunger, experience designer Jake Barton’s firm, Local Projects, is thinking about how storytelling and technology can work to bring people together around commonalities instead of differences. How can institutions draw visitors in with spectacle, and then use that engaged audience to effect positive transformations in society? From its work memorializing the 2001 terrorist attacks at the National September 11 Memorial Museum, to more recent work on the Legacy Museum, South Africa’s Constitution Hill, the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center in Philadelphia, and the Planet Word museum of language in Washington, D.C., Local Projects is using technology to ignite visceral reactions from visitors to achieve a moments of shared and common emotion.