Alt Ethos, an experiential design company in Denver, was invited by Wade Troxell, Mayor of the City of Fort Collins, to proclaim October 15, 2019 as Empowerment Through Creative Technology Day. This proclamation has recently been enacted by the Mayor as a means to encourage citizens to explore the creative arts through technological applications and renew a sense of pride for the cultural diversity found within the community. The reasons for this proclamation and celebration of creative technology are many. Alt Ethos, a company at the forefront of a movement to bring creative technology applications to the mainstream, is supported by many fellow private and public organizations. The proclamation is in line with the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority’s dedication to economic development through technology and creative arts. The Downtown Development Authority recently put its Downtown Alley Master Plan into place, which encourages the conversion of local alleys into interactive art and technologically-driven displays. These public arts not only offer free public access to an immersive, child- and pet-friendly experience, but encourages new storefronts due to greater economic activity in otherwise low-traffic areas. The Downtown Development Authority worked with Alt Ethos in 2018 to complete the first of many interactive wall murals in accordance with the Downtown Alley Master Plan. The murals, painted by local artist Peeta, were transformed by Alt Ethos into an animated visual display. Using projection mapping technology, passersby can control the movement of the mural through simple movements. The project, titled “Illuminous,” is free for pedestrians to experience and enjoy in historic Old Town. In light of the proclamation for Empowerment Through Creative Technology Day, Alt Ethos founder, Ethan Bach, is excited to advance several new projects for the company. They have recently entered and won a Young Industry Professionals Award for a similar public arts project, and in the past spring partnered with Anythink Libraries to openly construct an interactive sculpture, combining elements of sound, light, and motion to encourage young minds to explore the opportunities in design and creative technology.
Alt Ethos is currently accepting invitations for new interactive community and commercial design projects, aimed at connecting crowds to their surroundings in novel and powerful mediums. To learn more about Alt Ethos, visit their website at www.altethos.com or call their Denver office at 303-800-4243.
Denver experiential design studio takes home YIP award in experiential motion design for Greeley, Colorado Musical Hopscotch installation.
Denver, Colorado, November 5, 2019 On October 2nd, 2019, Denver Does Design hosted its inaugural Young Industry Professionals (YIP) Awards. The YIP Awards celebrate the achievements of young professionals in creative design fields. All award nominees and teams have less than 10 years of industry exposure, but are making great strides in innovation surrounding the Denver area. One such nominee and award winner, Alt Ethos, is proud to announce their recognition in the Motion category for an interactive public art display.
Alt Ethos is one of 13 YIP Award winners celebrated at the event this year. The interactive design company, founded by Ethan Bach, is made of several young designers who helped create their winning entry. Their Greeley Hopscotch project, which combined elements of motion and sound to provide an interactive hopscotch experience for Greeley-area residents, won the Alt Ethos team the award.
The Greeley Hopscotch project was nominated in the Motion category for Experience Awards at YIP. The Experience Awards were given to projects which offered interactive experiences to participants using creative design and technology elements. Other categories at the Awards included Everyday Use, Storytelling, Montage, and others based on projects’ creative and social impact and merit.
This Awards event not only spurred creative innovation from the local Denver young professionals community, but preceded a recent proclamation by the Fort Collins Mayor, Wade Troxell, to celebrate October 15th as Empowerment Through Creative Technology Day. Many of the projects presented at the YIP Awards featured creative and artistic design elements that further Denver and Fort Collins’ mission to be a hub of modern art and tech innovation.
Alt Ethos is one of many Denver-area organizations that celebrates empowerment and innovation through creative technology on a daily basis. Alt Ethos’ many community projects follow guiding principles to be inclusive, interactive, and novel in the ways they engage audiences through light, sound, and motion. As the YIP Award and other recognition of tech-centered industry growth emerge, the community goal to enhance the professional opportunity for creative arts and design will be met and exceeded.
Creating a high engagement museum exhibit with the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery was looking to activate an old exhibit space into an engaging experience, so they turned to Alt Ethos to create a lighting instrument. The previous exhibit displayed a looped video about the music scene in Fort Collins with a set of couches for visitors to sit to watch the video. The exhibit was passive; they wanted an environment that captured visitors’ attention and pushed deeper engagement.
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
1.Create a unique instrument playable by multiple people at the same time.
2. Turn the space into an active experience that engages people of all ages.
Step 1: User Experience Research
The team began the journey with user experience research to better understand the community that enjoys the museum and the relationship between the vision of the organization, personas of the users, dynamics of the space, and interactions that connect people to the space and vision.
Step 2: Design
Paul and Ethan take a meeting to learn about the museum’s needs.
The design phase highlighted that the tucked away location of the piece was a unique opportunity to engage “sweater holder” parents as well that don’t often interact with the exhibits choosing instead to watch their children and sit off to the side.
The ideal interaction time was approximated around five minutes to ensure adequate flow throughout the other exhibits. The team moved forward with wireless sensing technology located overhead in the room to maximize the life of the exhibit by basing the interaction dynamics off of the position of audience members in the space.
Step 3: Development and Testing
A child dances among the lights, activating new sounds in the space.
The development and testing of the exhibit occurred in a series of sprints. The major benefit of the sprints was iterative testing of the sound curation because in generative sound environments it can be easy to be swept into a cacophony of sound.
Tuning the parameters to limit key aspects of the sound design along with smoothing sensor data was a major breakthrough in the design that pushed the aesthetic of the installation.
Step 4: Implementation and Delivery
Alt Ethos installed the installation over the course of two weeks ensuring that any major physical changes to the environment took place on the Mondays when the museum was closed.
An essential factor in a smooth delivery was remote access to the computers allowing for the team to make changes and improve the software while not onsite. This allowed for a faster delivery time and for changes to take effect rapidly during the installation phase.
Step 5: Evaluation
What formerly was a passive exhibit is now an active space for all ages.
The use of wireless sensing technology also meant that as soon as a person enters the space, they became part of the musical composition. After the implementation and delivery, this dynamic was identified as a key variable in converting passive adults to active participants in the museum experience.
Doing so created an environment ripe for more connections to the space that involved the whole family thus driving more memberships, donations, and buy in from the adults in the local community.
As a growing creative startup, finding a place to work and build in a rapidly growing city can be a challenge often overlooked. After working out of our home for over two years at The Commons on Champa we were ready for some growth into a space where we could work and build.
We still love The Commons and visit, hold events, or work there often. Searching for something at the scale we needed for the price we could afford was proving to be difficult. After scouring the market for a couple months our good friends at TVL Creative let us in on their secret.
They rented a space in an artist, maker, and creative workspace called Prism Workspaces. This conglomeration of a couple buildings sits on the outskirts of downtown just south of Mile High Stadium in an industrial park just a gust of wind away smells of greenhouses full of Colorado’s cash crop. The unassuming warehouse style buildings contain a labyrinth of workspaces for some of the most phenomenal creatives in Denver.
Outside of Prism workspace.
We moved into Prism in October of 2017 into a 1300 sq. foot unit for a fraction of the price of other spaces we had been looking at. Apart from the size, location, and price what has really excited me was the community and the passion people had for the work they did.
Day in and day out the noises from people building, and making things fills the air at Prism reminding us of the creative energy flowing heavily through the space.
This place is special.
In the social and political climate since the Ghost Ship fire, creative spaces have been uprooted in many places around the country. Makers, creatives, inventors, artists, and musicians have been reeling to find places to live and work since their displacement. The tragedy rocked the community and has touched many of our lives so very deeply.
Preventing something like that happening again is certainly important however the implementation of the enforcement has caused a lot of discomfort and even suffering among people in our community. Although Prism doesn’t solve any of the housing issues, the feeling of the DIY community workspace seems to thrive, while also maintaining a healthy relationship with the City.
The synthesis of professionalism and creativity shouldn’t be feared, and the feeling of the community can still flourish.
Our office inside of Prism.
After almost 8 months, we have really found a home at Prism. Our office and studio space allows for us to work together in a space we can be proud of. With ample space for desks and individual workspaces paired with a great meeting area and a large fabrication and build space, we have a natural and efficient flow to get a good volume of quality work built and designed. We have ample space to build out installations for testing or prototyping before we deploy final products.
Welcome to the Alt Ethos interactive installation factory.
Coming up 7 months after our first open house not long after we moved in, the Prism Community is hosting another open house. We are so excited to show you what we have been working on the past half of the year.
Please come by and see what we have in store for this event and also check out what our neighbors will have to show. The theme of this open house is Ultraviolet, so expect a lot of purple!
Come celebrate with us at the Prism Workplaces facility-wide open house to take in the work of talented artists, designers, and creatives. We are grateful to be a part of this community as we continue to expand our organizations into new possibilities.
The open house will be held on Friday, June 1st, 2018 from 5:30pm to 11:30pm at Prism Workplaces 999 Vallejo Street, Denver Colorado. Alt Ethos is located through entrance 2 at space #30.
Pitching new and experimental engagements with your audience to your boss or client is no easy task, especially when your organization is unfamiliar with experiential design. In the experience economy, inspiring your audience with disruptive media can amplify your impact in monumental ways but too often ideas fail to come to fruition. So how can we advocate for creating engaging environments more effectively to our boss?
Understand your boss’ perspective For starters, striving to become more aware of the aspects of the business, specific strategies and endeavors, and opportunities for growth that your boss values is a step in the right direction. Likely, you are already intimately involved in many of these efforts but it can help immensely to put yourself in their shoes to see the organization from their eyes as best you can.
Say your boss is trying to create a campaign for a specific holiday to boost revenues. Then coming up with an experience that ties the celebration of that day to your product like Molson’s The Beer Fridge celebrating Canadian Federation Day is a great place to start.
Find a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (that’s tied to the quality of experience) Be prepared to connect the benefits of an improved experience to your goals as an organization. Where are you headed and what are your key performance indicators on the path to getting there? Great experiences come from big hairy audacious goals that require creative thinking and unconventional methods to create a memorable experience.
…And Solve It Map out the goal and how creating a memorable experience for your audience will get you there. Make sure to consult any experts within your organization that have an intimate stake in this goal to garner further understanding.
Working with a well-defined goal hand in hand alongside creative and marketing resources expedites the process to collaboratively developing a concept incorporating marketing strategies, innovative technology, and beautifully fabricated objects that accomplish said goal.
Ask questions to clarify with the experience designers any places where you aren’t clear. We’re here to help you to illustrate the experience inside and out with grace.
Experiential Marketing can have profound impacts on the bottom line for big and small companies alike. For instance in the six months immediately following Redbull’s World Record Stratos Freefall, sales rose 7% to $1.6 billion in the U.S., according to research firm IRI.
Plan how to measure the results Defining strategies to measure impact provides assurance that through studying the effects of the experience, you’ll ensure this is a sound investment of your organization’s money, time, and energy. When creating an interactive environment, there is a massive opportunity to connect the sensors that allow audiences to control various forms of light and sound to record and report their measurements as quantitative and actionable insights.
For Old Navy’s 20th Birthday their #Selfiebration wall generated 640 million twitter impressions, 13,669 contest entries, and 17,498 uses of the tag #Selfiebration.
Connect the experience to your digital presence In the information age, a majority of organizations are utilizing websites, social media, and other digital technologies to connect with their audiences online. Stepping outside the comfort zone of online marketing strategies into designing an experiential physical environment opens a whole new realm of possibilities to intertwine the two realms. In this case it’s important to illustrate the connection between the existing endeavors online and how this environment will galvanize more sharing on social media, more searches on google and more marketing qualified leads, subscribers, etc.
Refinery29 brought their imaginative spirit into the real world through 29Rooms an experience that connected 29 of their digital partners with audiences and created a plethora of highly shareable content that circulated throughout the web.
Visuals, Visuals, Visuals So now we have a great idea and a plan to measure its effectiveness. With all this legwork your almost prepared for a great pitch, but there’s one more key concept we’ve discovered along our travels. Developing visual materials of the idea is essential to stimulating the imagination of your boss. We commonly curate pinterest boards to assist with ideation but there is also a well of information from searching both Creative Applications and Vice’s Creators.
-by Paul Elsberg
Check out Alt Ethos’ Projectsfor examples of how experiential exhibitions, temporary or permanent, can excite a range of audiences.