Designed together with 3D animation firm PostNew, this captivating, spine-tingling visual identity presents the exhibition ‘WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD’, running from 8 April until 1 November 2020 at ArkDes (Swedish national centre for architecture and design) in Stockholm, Sweden. This experimental exhibition explores the online subcultural phenomenon of ASMR and the emerging world of creativity grown up around it, bringing it from the screen into public space.
When approaching the identity, two principles were considered: on the one hand, the visual design should convey the ability of ASMR to trigger a profound embodied experience in the viewer, while on the other, it should communicate the radical curatorial approach of elevating an online phenomenon to the context of a museum space. Taking as a reference the visual and auditorial qualities of ASMR content found on internet platforms like YouTube, the identity revolves around the creation of five ‘characters’ appropriating the sensorial lexicon of ASMR — tapping, brushing, squeezing, rubbing, sliding, stretching, bouncing, pulling. Juxtaposing shapes, materials and movements, each character triggers a different synesthesia-like feeling in the viewer, prompting them to imagine a sound and tactile contact (“I feel like I can hear it/touch it”). As kinetic objects, the characters move in space repetitively, suggesting a trance-like phasing rhythm—like living, breathing organisms. Suspended in a black void, the dramatic lighting reveals each minute detail of their digitally hyper-real materiality, as if they had been pulled out of context and observed closely.
Ultimately, the design is a collaborative experiment aimed at situating 3D imagery as a legitimate and successful form of expression for visual identities.
Images: Johan Dehlin (8-9, 19-20)