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Sweeper exhibit for UNMAS

Exhibition Design, Education

For most of us, landmines are a scary concept, but a distant one. Every day, however, approximately ten people are killed or maimed by landmines in more than 61 countries. The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) works to rid the world of landmines, a goal the organization believes could be reached in our lifetime—but only if UNMAS has enough funding. Most research indicates that people donate to causes that feel personal to them, so Critical Mass created a virtual minefield exhibit at the New Museum in New York City to make this foreign cause personal. The core of the event was Sweeper, a mobile app that used Apple’s iBeacon technology, which triggers a response on a user’s phone when the person is near a sensor. As visitors explored the exhibit, they were guided by audio that introduced tragic cost of landmines. When they approached sensors hidden throughout the gallery, they triggered a shocking audio explosion on their phone. Each detonation was followed by information about the devastating damage it caused, as well as prompts to donate directly to UNMAS via SMS messaging.

Stefan Smith, writer; Nikolay Mihaylov/April Ryde, senior designers; Christiaan Welzel, creative director; Conor Brady, chief creative officer; Thierry Marques, project director; Marco Grob, photographer; Adrian Suza, illustrator; First Avenue Machine, video director; The Hangar Interactive, digital video producer; Heard City, sound designer; Elias Arts, sound design; Ricardo Alvarado/Scott Goetz/Roy Quesada Medina/Steven Ritchie, interactive developers; Miguel Alvarez, technology director; Alissa Hansen, agency producer; Jared Folkmann/Scott King, strategy; Baura New York, exhibit design; Critical Mass (New York, NY), ad agency; UNMAS, client.