The Story of 200 Red Boxes: TEDxNewHaven Sense Kits Production Process

Last Saturday, I gave four talks at TEDxNewHaven: The Art and Science of Happiness, where I engaged the audience in my different interactive projects. The first goal was to get them to play throughout the day and the higher goal was to show them how paying more attention to the world promotes happiness. With the help of friends, I designed and produced 200 sense kits that contained objects that they interacted with at my instructions at different points of the conference.

The kit came in the form of a red box that matched the TEDx logo.

Each kit contained sealed envelopes with postcards containing postcards representing each project — HugPrints (a set of hugging instructions), Rorsketch (a cloud that can be drawn on), Smellbound (a piece of printed smell), and EatPoetry (text from Robert Frost’s After Apple-Picking), together with a mini-Sharpie (for Rorsketch) and a sealed kosher apple-flavored lollipop (for EatPoetry).

HugPrints cards, front and back:

Rorsketch cards, front and back:

Smellbound cards, front and back:

EatPoetry cards, front and back:

Here are all 200 of the kits (Two hundred! Madre mia. The TEDxNewHaven team were nice enough to have picked them up from the studio instead of me lugging all 200 to Connecticut.)

I would never have pulled this off without the help of these amazing people:

For graphic design guidance
Christine Aaron

For kit assembly
Kate Russell
Dan Fan
Desiree Go
Annika Yi-Wang

More about the actual conference and experience design in the next post.

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