Assembly of Youth

Large scale immersive installation that visualizes the hopes, fears and aspirations of of children around the world UN during the General Assembly in New York.

 

Assembly of Youth is a physical installation that puts the voices of children at the heart of the UN during the general assembly. The installation physically visualizes data gathered through UNICEF’s SMS based social reporting tool U-Report showing a representation of answers to questions asked to thousands of people.

The installation is comprised of 45 uniquely designed statues representing children from different nationalities, cultures and places around the world, it’s form reflects the form of the General Assembly forum at the UN headquarters. Through the figures in the space, the installation displays the questions asked by U-Report and a the answers mapped to figures in the space followed by spatial audio of the answers – as visitors walk around the piece they physically experience the emotional impact of real time data from questions and answers displayed by the installation.

Research & Development

U-Report is a SMS based messaging tool allowing anyone from any community, anywhere in the world to respond to polls, report issues, support child rights and work. This tool allows UNICEF to have real time information about issues as happen around the world through a community of over 40.000 people registered worldwide. UReport communicates with their community through made of question-answer polls that ask questions about people’s health, education, government.

Up until then all these question-answer polls were presented by UNICEF through graphs on the platform website.

Installation Layout

Assembly of Youth layout was based on the layout of the general assembly, appropriating the layout of the space to represent the assembly of youth from around the world. Visitors could enter the installation and walk through the different totems as they displayed questions asked by UNICEF and answers from U-Reporters. Each totem had spatial speakers that complemented the display and played back pre-recorded sounds of some of the answers.

Screens Content

The unit designs were based on a generative modular system generated by software – that constructed a series of variations of units based on the same building blocks. Each totem was prototyped and constructed from 3 different stains of wood representing an diverse abstraction of U-Reporters from all around the world.

The installation was designed to provide ‘glanceable’ information to allow the visitor to understand the question and majority of answers. This was achieved through a dynamic animation that distributed the answers across the totems highlighting the overall majority of answers to a multiple choice question.

Launch at the General Assembly

Assembly of Youth was launched by David Beckham and Ban Ki Moon at a press event held in the UN headquarters as part of the opening of the General Assembly in New York. The installation was visited by the world leaders during the assembly.

My Role

Creative lead and technical lead of the project working at Google Creative Labs. I worked from the concept stage, interaction design and production. I worked in collaboration with London based studio United Visual Artists for the installation design, and software build (using D3).  I designed and prototyped data API to provide data working dev studio Potato  to the installation piping data from UReport to the physical installation.

Awards

D&AD Yellow Pencil – Digital Installation Design (2016)