Working with Hullmark Developments, we set up an interactive sculpture near Ossington & Queen called the Emotophone. This sculpture was reminiscent of playground speakerphones, and encouraged passerbys to play on it.

Designers:  Josephine Guan, Linus Chui
Creative Director: Laura Stein, Tom Koukodimos
Producer: Kelsey-Lynn Corradetti
Writer: Zachary Radford
Vendors: MASSIVart, wondermakr

Photo of two girls speaking into the the Emotophone. The Emotophone is a large metal structure that is painted neon orange and blue. It is curvy and squiggly and there are two microphones at either end of it.
A GIF of a cartoon of someone speaking into one end of the Emotophone, you follow the tube and it forms into a heart. At the end, text reads : Find Love at the #Emotophone.

We set up plaques with select questions from Arthur Aron’s 36 Questions that Lead to Love, and participants (friends or strangers) can ask each other these questions through the tubes.

Side photo of the Emotophone. You can see the windy blue and orange tubes. and there is seating in the middle of the microphones. In the background there are old buildlings with colourful instructional posters on the windows.
The installation was set up for Ossfest 2018 and stayed up until Nuit Blanche. During that time, interactions were anonymously posted on Twitter︎︎︎

The Process

Situated in an office just down the street from Queen and Ossington, Sid Lee employees were the perfect users to start brainstorming with.

We asked our coworkers to imagine and sketch what they would love to see in the empty space. 

Scouting the installation location

A GIF running through different submission ideas that we received during the brainstorm phase. Each participant wrote and drew their idea on a sheet of paper. Ideas included: a little library, an Ossington zoo, a speakeasy, a mural, and a condensed sculpture. The template we used for brainstorming

The element of ‘play’ and ‘discovery’ were common themes found in the brainstorm. The Ossington neighbourhood is also known for having a split population of older long-term residents and younger folks as Queen Street West was becoming a hub for jobs in culture and entertainment.

We wanted to create something playful that invited strangers to come together and experience a bit of joy on their walk around the neighbourhood.
A photo of a collaborative workboard where the design team posted ideas and work in progress. You can see an initial sketch of the Emotophone done in marker. Mapping the user journey

Timelapse of the installation