THE EXHIBITION PROJECT
The Exhibition Project
On educating teenagers about eating disorders.
Assignment
The purpose of this project was to create a collapsible exhibition on an assigned social issue. As a group project, we had a team of five to solve the problem of making the exhibition display fit within the size restriction of 120cm x 90cm x 8cm while also researching and crafting engaging content for viewers.

Assigned Social Issue
 Eating Disorders
Target Audience High School Students
My Role Project Lead

Process
In addition to the basic facts on eating disorders, I also gathered information from a friend of mine who had struggled with an eating disorder. The left column below is what she wanted people to know if they were going through one themselves. This information, beyond the objective facts I found on the internet, was crucial in deciding the general direction of the content.
Below are sketches of initial ideas for the physical displays and concepts that our team brainstormed.
Final Product
During the research and brainstorming phase, we decided to narrow our focus to one of the greatest factors of influence in society: the media. We recognized that the media plays such a key role in shaping people's thoughts and perceptions of beauty, which in effect negatively influences how someone values themselves. And so we took one of the most representative items in the media, the magazine, and blew it up to life-size for the exhibition. With three "pages" on wheels, it invites viewers to swing the pages as if they were flipping through a magazine. This physically interactive element would help viewers engage with the content as well.
The "cover" of the giant magazine pictured below is emulating that of Vogue Magazine, featuring a frightening image of an anorexic model who died because of her weakened body.
The first "spread" focused on just the hard facts of eating disorders.
The second "spread" focused on what people could do to take action about eating disorders, either for themselves or for their friends. 
We made sure there were "cute" info cards for people to take away in case they wanted to know more about eating disorders. And it was important that these cards didn't look too serious or depressing, with images of haggard people or with the words "ANOREXIA" or "BULIMIA" gaudily displayed on the covers. We wanted to present essential contact information for clinics in a way that wasn't embarrassing for people.
Like most magazines, the back cover is of a full page advertisement. We decided to make it a Dove ad, using one of the photos of the "real" women from the True Beauty Campaign. "I'm sexy and I know it" was taken from LMFAO in an attempt to appeal to teenagers but also to end the exhibition experience with a positive statement of self-confidence and hope. 
The Assembly
One of our biggest challenges was to create a solution that would allow the foam core pages to fold in half to fit within the size limitation while keeping them rigid when assembled. After several prototypes and iterations, we came up with large metal clips that could slide over the folding crease and also act as grips/handles for turning the pages. If the pages were to fold it also meant we had to create removable hinges. And since we weren't allowed to use pre-manufactured parts, we hand-made eight hinges out of tin-plated steel and copper rods. In the video below, you can see exactly how the hinges slide in and out without wearing away at the foam core.

This project was difficult in that we had a lot of technicalities to figure out regarding the construction/form as well as do enough in depth research so as to create meaningful content for the audience. But at the end of the day, if we didn't get through to the audience and move them in any way to talk, feel, learn something about the tragedy of eating disorders, no display, however fancy or well-constructed, would matter. 

Our display was in no way meant to be an exhaustive encyclopedia explanation of eating disorders. The seemingly sparse amount of information displayed was meant to catch a teenager's attention and spark even the slightest interest and curiosity while providing the least amount of information possible.
 


Thank you.
THE EXHIBITION PROJECT
7
1,068
0
Published:

THE EXHIBITION PROJECT

On educating teenagers about eating disorders.
7
1,068
0
Published: