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Case Study

Can we create a sense of Toronto by getting people to share their stories?



What can we learn from sharing our stories together?

Overview

TOgether is an audience-led art installation created by the Humber College 2018 Transmedia Fellowship. This unique collaborative program gathered a multidisciplinary team of students to explore storytelling and utilize their talents in technology, design and development.

With an interest in the sense of place, strangers connecting, authenticity and the influence of social media, the team created “TOgether”, a project that invited participants to share their story through spontaneous conversations between friends and strangers. By bringing people together, encouraging intimacy, and asking participants to share their personal revelations and experiences, TOgether endeavored to create authentic and meaningful human interactions.

Discovery & Design

In the discovery phase, the team researched potential methods to deliver the project goals. We focused on a holistic experience, prototyping multiple iterations of the “connection machine” and journey mapping a range of user experiences.

Setting Up Mockup Booth Testing Another Concept

Team members playtested as participants and engaged in “real world” scenarios within the studio. Those insights provided the conceptual thread that informed the design of the branding and graphic communication, onboarding and offboarding scripts, questions, digital app, physical installation, video production and finally, the TOgether website.

Setting Up Mockup Booth Testing Another Concept

Once we developed a minimal viable product, our focus shifted to gathering real world user feedback. We arranged a public soft-launch, where participants were invited to participate in the installation and share valuable feedback about their experience, which we then analyzed and used to revise our design and prepare the next iteration of the experience.

Launch

Two weeks later, our team returned to Humber College North in Toronto, Ontario to publicly launch the installation over the span of two days.

The TOgether team engaged the community face-to-face and participants were onboarded to the experience before they entered the booth. Once inside, they were positioned in two chairs sitting face-to-face, with the audio and video recording technology positioned minimally.

The technologies used included two microphones, two DSLR cameras and a GoPro camera, in addition to other lighting instruments. Two iPads were used to continue the facilitation once participants were seated inside to ensure continuous flow.

Our goal was to have as wide a variety of participants as possible in each session and this meant designing a 5-10 minute window for a meaningful interaction to take place.

We discovered that participants were more interested in the person-to-person interaction and enjoyed the surprising exchange and bond that occured, making this experience deeply meaningful.

Additional Media

The TOgether team got the opportunity to share some insights about the project with the rest of the Humber community. Below you can listen to Steve Cober, one of the Transmedia Fellowship producers, talk about the project and fellowship on Humber NextCast.

Future Steps

TOgether has been designed as a turnkey installation that can be adapted to any topic or cultural happening. We’re always interested to hear about new events and the potential for collaboration with those interested.

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