Sara Hendren at the booth with the White house in the background.

Sara Hendren at the booth with the White house in the background.

SXSL Exhibit Design, Fabrication, and Installation

Keywords: Exhibit Design, Fabrication, Communication Design

This project was for Return Design, a student-populated design studio at Olin College of Engineering led by Tim Ferguson Sauder. The studio provides free design work for non-profits, art organizations, and other people seeking to do good in the world. We help people who help people.

The project involved designing, fabricating, and installing an exhibit for the South by South Lawn Festival at the White House. Hosted by President Obama and inspired by South by Southwest, South by South Lawn (SXSL) brought together over 2000 innovators, organizers, and changemakers in the social justice sphere to share ideas. Olin professor Sara Hendren was invited to exhibit works from her lab, the adaptation + ability group at Olin, at the festival. She asked us at Return Design to help design and fabricate her exhibit. We also installed the exhibit on the South Lawn of the White House for the day-long festival and presented Sara's works throughout the day. Read more about the project on our Exposure site.


September - October 2016
returndesign.org

 
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Sketching and prototyping

The exhibit featured 6 of the projects from the a+a lab, and was designed to require some adaptive tech (a ramp) in order to make the booth accessible.

Prototyping the experience using books.

Prototyping the experience using books.

Mockup of exterior and interior panels.

Mockup of exterior and interior panels.

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Design and fabrication

We fabricated the booth entirely on-campus, with a little help from our Machine Shop instructors.

Shop Instructor Bruce bending our brackets.

Shop Instructor Bruce bending our brackets.

Shop Instructor Daniela and Jeff testing a bracket.

Shop Instructor Daniela and Jeff testing a bracket.

Sara moving a freshly-painted plywood sheet.

Sara moving a freshly-painted plywood sheet.

Keenan applying finish to a plywood sheet.

Keenan applying finish to a plywood sheet.

Tim testing out one of the skateboarding/wheelchair access ramps in the installation.

Tim testing out one of the skateboarding/wheelchair access ramps in the installation.

Jeff and Sara packing the crate to ship the booth.

Jeff and Sara packing the crate to ship the booth.

Brennan and Scott designed and built a custom crate for the booth.

Brennan and Scott designed and built a custom crate for the booth.

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Installation

We unpacked and assembled the booth on the White House Lawn the day before the event.

Jeff and Aaron mounting screens.

Jeff and Aaron mounting screens.

Keenan touching up damages from the shipping process.

Keenan touching up damages from the shipping process.

Putting final touches on the vinyl lettering.

Putting final touches on the vinyl lettering.

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Presenting

We walked festival attendees through the exhibit and met some cool folks along the way.

Sara speaking with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to President Obama.

Sara speaking with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to President Obama.

A young attendee plays with the prototypes in the exhibit.

A young attendee plays with the prototypes in the exhibit.