theFearbox

Exhibition Design, Blog, User Research, Information Graphics, Illustration

theFearbox is an independent project that I developed and expanded during my senior year at Carnegie Mellon University. 

The wooden box traveled to different public locations around the Pittsburgh area. Instructions displayed with the project prompted viewers to face their fears by writing them down, throwing them in the box and releasing the fear through this act. Paper and pens were set up for this purpose. Between five Pittsburgh locations and an online blog over 500 responses were collected. Using statistical analysis I categorized the various fears and examined how fears change based on location. I also performed academic research into how disciplines such as history, sociology, psychology, philosophy and biology discuss fear. 

In January 2012 I received full funding from Carnegie Mellon University to present the project and my research at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and the Humanities in Honolulu. 

In March 2012, The American Jewish Museum hosted a month long exhibit that displayed the box, collected data, in depth research and the physical fears that were submitted. I arranged, designed and constructed the entire exhibit and marketing.

The exhibit remained true to the participative nature of theFearbox project by allowing viewers to physically add to the show. They could submit their own fear in the box, open an old fear and pin it to the wall or write their own response to fear. A well designed hierarchy organized the information.

A sample of the collected fears from various locations. 

Infographics

Exhibition

theFearbox exhibit took full advantage of the unique space provided by the American Jewish Museum.

The niche walls, created by the columns, function to break the exhibit into four main sections - Why We Fear, What We Fear, How We Fear and Overcoming Fear. Each section included a main body of text, subtext on a more specific topic, illustrations of famous persons and their quotes on fear and actual fears. 

The columns act as interactive stations that encourage participation and a physical connection with the exhibit. 

As time progressed, the exhibit expanded with contributions from viewers, encouraging them to revisit the project and discuss it with others. The Community Center location means hundreds of individuals passed through the space daily. The exhibit was designed with this in mind, to create a full experience for the community rather than simply a display of finding. It allows interaction and understanding on a more personal level than a typical art gallery.