LocationBroad St. SW, Atlanta, GA
A design fiction intervention on a downtown Atlanta street immersed partygoers in a story told entirely through outdoor environmental signage.
For Creative Loafing’s annual Best of Atlanta block party, we constructed a narrative ecosystem with a single goal: make visitors feel like they’ve stepped into a strange but plausible future world.
The story established Atlanta’s South Broad Street as a “dark” zone in a technologically pervasive society where we have willingly traded our privacy for gains in security and convenience. The block—home to a grassroots resistance group—is one of the last remaining places in the city that hasn’t been anesthetized by our collective pursuit of cleanliness and comfort.
Throughout the street, we transformed regular municipal signs into responsive, interactive signs that can sense their environment; as party guests walked by, the signs changed to reveal hidden messaging. A biometric scanner station invited guests to engage, bodily, with our fiction, and atmospheric touches, including guerilla-style propaganda posters and an enigmatic graffiti symbol, ensured that everywhere guests looked, they would discover another layer of the story.
We were drawn to signs as a unique storytelling vehicle, a found canvas naturally integrated into the party’s urban surroundings, where we could tell a distributed narrative that gradually came into focus. We played upon the familiarity of signs—something omnipresent that most people look past or through every day—to provoke meaningful reflection about who we are, how we live, and where we are headed.
Press & AwardsHOW International Design Awards, Merit, Signage/Environmental Graphics, November 2016W³ Awards, Silver, Environmental/Experiential: Community, November 2016Part of SapientRazorfish /© 2017 Second Story, Inc.