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Sparking a shift from your regular routine

Designing an interactive public installation

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OVERVIEW

Come on throo

Stationed outside an academic building in NYC's Chelsea neighborhood, “throo” is a parklet that invites passersby to creatively maneuver themselves through a set of six curvaceous, vertical panels. Each panel’s interior shape suggests a different pose, encouraging users to be playful and creative in moving their bodies and interacting with both the structures and each other.

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Designing a marketing conference that’s… fun?

Building Atlas Obscura's new travel department.

How do you design group travel
for independent travelers?

CHALLENGE

OPPORTUNITY

Americans sit a lot, mostly alone

How might we design a parklet to encourage movement, interaction, and play?

Over 60% of Americans report feeling lonely on a regular basis (source). And all those lonely waking hours? Most of them (6.5 to 8 hours, on average) are spent sitting down. For students, that range is even higher. 

Over 60% of Americans report feeling lonely on a regular basis (source). And all those lonely waking hours? Most of them (6.5 to 8 hours, on average) are spent sitting down. For students, that range is even higher. 

EARLY IDEATION

The initial spark for “throo” came from the gameshow, “Hole in the Wall” (Link). The first model took the form of as a series of close-set, uniformly shaped panels with abstract interior cut-outs.

COMPETITIVE RESEARCH

An untapped demographic

Atlas Obscura is a travel and media startup with a mission to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. The company began in 2000 with a user-generated database populated with unusual places you weren’t likely to find in a typical travel guide (think: Brooklyn’s Sunshine Laundromat and Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand. Today, Atlas Obscura’s [empire] includes online magazine, best-selling books, brand partnerships, events, online courses, and group trips.

 

When I was 25 years old, I had the opportunity to build out a new product line for the brand—a group travel offering. After initially kicking off with a standard white-label model, I [fought] to bring it all in-house. Insteading of outsourcing to destination management companies, I began co-designing each of our travel experiences with individuals and small organizations across the globe. Within three years, our annual trip lineup grew from 12 to 165, and our NPS soared from under 10 to over 60.

STRATEGY

Defining a new brand strategy

Atlas Obscura is a travel and media startup with a mission to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. The company began in 2000 with a user-generated database populated with unusual places you weren’t likely to find in a typical travel guide (think: Brooklyn’s Sunshine Laundromat and Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand. Today, Atlas Obscura’s [empire] includes online magazine, best-selling books, brand partnerships, events, online courses, and group trips.

 

When I was 25 years old, I had the opportunity to build out a new product line for the brand—a group travel offering. After initially kicking off with a standard white-label model, I [fought] to bring it all in-house. Insteading of outsourcing to destination management companies, I began co-designing each of our travel experiences with individuals and small organizations across the globe. Within three years, our annual trip lineup grew from 12 to 165, and our NPS soared from under 10 to over 60.

PROCESS

Rebuilding from the ground up—with a focus on the individual

Atlas Obscura is a travel and media startup with a mission to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. The company began in 2000 with a user-generated database populated with unusual places you weren’t likely to find in a typical travel guide (think: Brooklyn’s Sunshine Laundromat and Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand. Today, Atlas Obscura’s [empire] includes online magazine, best-selling books, brand partnerships, events, online courses, and group trips.

 

When I was 25 years old, I had the opportunity to build out a new product line for the brand—a group travel offering. After initially kicking off with a standard white-label model, I [fought] to bring it all in-house. Insteading of outsourcing to destination management companies, I began co-designing each of our travel experiences with individuals and small organizations across the globe. Within three years, our annual trip lineup grew from 12 to 165, and our NPS soared from under 10 to over 60.

GUIDING PRINCIPALS

Write postcards, and lots of them

Atlas Obscura is a travel and media startup with a mission to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. The company began in 2000 with a user-generated database populated with unusual places you weren’t likely to find in a typical travel guide (think: Brooklyn’s Sunshine Laundromat and Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand. Today, Atlas Obscura’s [empire] includes online magazine, best-selling books, brand partnerships, events, online courses, and group trips.

 

When I was 25 years old, I had the opportunity to build out a new product line for the brand—a group travel offering. After initially kicking off with a standard white-label model, I [fought] to bring it all in-house. Insteading of outsourcing to destination management companies, I began co-designing each of our travel experiences with individuals and small organizations across the globe. Within three years, our annual trip lineup grew from 12 to 165, and our NPS soared from under 10 to over 60.

IMPACT

Connection, connection, connection

Atlas Obscura is a travel and media startup with a mission to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. The company began in 2000 with a user-generated database populated with unusual places you weren’t likely to find in a typical travel guide (think: Brooklyn’s Sunshine Laundromat and Steampunk HQ in Oamaru, New Zealand. Today, Atlas Obscura’s [empire] includes online magazine, best-selling books, brand partnerships, events, online courses, and group trips.

 

When I was 25 years old, I had the opportunity to build out a new product line for the brand—a group travel offering. After initially kicking off with a standard white-label model, I [fought] to bring it all in-house. Insteading of outsourcing to destination management companies, I began co-designing each of our travel experiences with individuals and small organizations across the globe. Within three years, our annual trip lineup grew from 12 to 165, and our NPS soared from under 10 to over 60.

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