In the fall of 2010 the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA; an organization committed to promoting and uniting businesses in the loop) approached the Institute of Design with a desire to create memorable experiences that brought attention to the Loop through the concept of interactive place making.
Urban Forest embeds the concept of a social family tree into two windows of a large urban shopping mall called Block37. The installation asks passers-by to answer one of two questions – Thin Crust or Deep Dish? Sox or Cubs? O’Hare or Midway? The questions were designed to change out every 72 hours. The interaction model is simple – as you walk down the street you tap on the question you associate with. The tap is visualized as a leaf on a digital tree that grows with every answer. As more people answer the tree grows larger and larger – and the visualization allows passers-by to see which question is getting more responses from people on the street. By understanding the demographic profile of the pedestrians on the street will allow both organizations to build experiences that can be catered to specific populations.
Design Team: Diana Cheng, Narae Kim, Farid Talhame, Helen Tong, Pinxia Ye.
Communication Team: Sarah Ekblad, Wei Sun, Farid Talhame.
Instructor: Anijo Mathew