The Future of Mental Health & Wellness, reimagined

Client

A new art gallery sponsored by the MIT Mind Hand Heart Initiative

2017, MIT

Tags

Product Vision; Workshop Facilitation; Operations; Needs Alignment; Product Roadmaps; Product Prototyping; Community Building

OMOA-82
zine

We created a Zine of resources on Mental Health & Wellness for visitors to take away and keep the energy going.

OMOA-57
OMOA-63
OMOA-62
OMOA-52
OMOA-30
OMOA-50
OMOA-24
OMOA-10
OMOA-7
IMG_9019
OMOA-4
IMG_9009
IMG_9015
IMG_9008
IMG_9001

The Challenge

I was awarded a grant by MIT’s Mind Hand Heart Initiative to run a month-long artist studio and a 2-week art gallery inside MIT’s highly trafficked student center. The theme was an invitation to explore the future of mental health and wellness, and I thought there would be no better way than to convene 11 artists from the MIT community to reflect, provoke, and envision the future that they deserve.

The Process

I created an application process to select the best candidates for our month-long studio time together. I curated conversations and work sessions in the studio and orchestrated a cohesive multi-media interactive exhibit that could stand alone and be open 24/7 to the community. I directed an amazing team of volunteers that gave their time to such an important mission and make the gallery come to life. Together, we converted a largely unremarkable space into an immersive welcoming world of art, technology, and community that students enjoyed during the middle of the day, in between classes, and as destination date nights (true story!).

Results

Opening Night was pumping! We filled the first floor of the student center with performers and booth exhibits on the latest, most innovative interventions towards better mental health and wellness. We curated relevant music playlists to accompany the exhibit and the interactive spaces hosted comfortable spaces for guests to settle in, read stories of the future, and discuss. At the far wall of the gallery was an ongoing live mural, painted by one of our guest artists, transcribing and interpreting submissions from visitors on what they would like to see in the future of mental health and wellness. During the two weeks, I facilitated key events to draw engagement back into the gallery by giving community organizations like “Skip the Small Talk”  a unique space to connect and have deep conversations. The gallery was a success by all accounts and we were invited to renew our grant the incoming year. One of our exhibits went on to become a permanent installation in the highly trafficked tunnels of MIT and grew into a multi-year project with a life of its own that can be seen online.