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What Would You Do? 

Photo courtesy of Gensler/Ryan Fetters

Each year, Gensler participates in Dining by Design fundraising events for Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA). DIFFA is one of the country's largest organizations dedicated to HIV/AIDS service and education. As part of the most recent event in San Francisco, Gensler participated in the annual tradition of creating an installation with a unique theme and a dynamic, inspirational environment for the evening’s festivities. The Gensler team drew inspiration from a recent story about the “Berlin Patient” citing that a cure is closer than ever. With that in mind, they focused on what happens after the cure is achieved, creating a visual interpretation of the collective sigh of relief and delight.

The installation used audio, visual and architectural stimulation to evoke an emotional and sensory experience. Collected audio recordings – stories about love, loss, hope, and everything in between – emanated from the walls of the structure. Local Bay area video artist Jen Cohen’s projections captured a mood of reflection and transience using footage of refracted light to bring movement and color to the interior skin of the structure. Visitors browsing the installation were prompted to send postcards to their future selves. Postcards with prompts like “What inspires you?” or “If there was nothing stopping you, what would you do right now?” provoked visitors to move from simply looking at the installation to actively participating in the excitement of the event – and the mission of this important organization.

The event was a great opportunity to deliver, through a fully immersive experience, a powerful message that inspires and spreads thoughtfulness and gratitude in each our lives. Design has a tremendous opportunity as a social and emotional forum, and this was powerfully demonstrated that night by the glowing response of each visitor.

David Mayman is an environmental graphic designer in the San Francisco office. With a keen focus on digital and physical experiential design, David brings a holistic approach and a fresh eye to projects through his wide areas of expertise. Contact him at david_mayman@gensler.com.

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Reader Comments (2)

A wonderful article describing an enchanting experience. I tell you, this kid is going places.
05.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Roan
Wonderful story about how aspiration and looking to the future are powerful levers for brand and experience. This succeeds because it feels genuine and personal, not simply optimistic.
05.13.2013 | Unregistered Commenterkek

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