Many individuals have an affection for the place they call home. And if home is where the heart is then the community is the blood that pumps it. Our collective “home” is our identity. It is this foundation of experiences and people that form who we are. As designers, creatives, and even simply as human beings we, at Diesel Displays, understand this. We too have a pride for where we call home – Dallas. When developing the Dallas Big installations you see around town, we didn’t know if it’d be a hit. We just wanted to create something that represented Dallas; an art installation that represents us. We’re a big deal and we know it.
Similar to when I wrote about #moments, creating these community art-installations give an opportunity for a memorable moment to be captured. The key difference where these art-installations transcend the average #moments is that these are not just cool photo ops, but also represent the identity of the community. The art installations are influenced by the people inhabiting them. It took us awhile to figure out how to create that magic. Here are a few things to know:
Understanding a Community’s Values
Every city or town has a unique identity formed by their differences. These can be geographical, cultural or economical. All these factors in turn provide different experiences for it’s community. Much like a parent raises a child, a city raises it’s residents. To create an installation that excites people you must examine the values of those people as a community. This will help you develop a story behind your art piece. Once you got that, you got your starting point.
Understanding the Environment
You must look at the environment of where the art-installation will go and what factors are present. Is it indoors or outdoors? Are there heat or cold elements? Will people physically interact with your display or will it remain untouched? Considering these variables and factors will determine budget, materials, concept, and manpower needed to create your art-installation. An awesome concept does not always mean a tangible one.
Brainstorming and Creativity Come into Play
Next is a brainstorming session. While referencing the community’s values and the environment of the proposed display, you can begin to develop the display itself. You will want to tell a story, one that speaks directly to the community. No two community’s are alike. No two stories should be either. After all an urban sprawl is much different from a small rural town. You will want to channel the voice of the community and create something that makes a statement – a statement that speaks to residents. During this time don’t forget that structurally the art-installation must also be able to stand up to weather elements, places with heavy foot-traffic, and any exterior factors.
It’s time to take off the thinking cap. Now it’s time to create. Be sure to create for quality and creativity. Using materials and vendors locally sourced can also bring a sense of local pride to the project. Here, you have the opportunity to get the very community you’re serving involved.
In the end you might not ever be satisfied with your result. Most creatives aren’t though. If you did do it right though, you’ll find lot’s of pictures and smiling faces from the community.