I stepped into the cheery kitchen and felt an irresistible draw to the refrigerator. It was an old 70’s-era non-descript fridge but once opened, a bleached out white light and throbbing hum beckoned to another realm of existence. I walked INTO the fridge.
I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was a place called Meow Wolf. It’s where ideas and minds come to be blown-out every which way. It’s described as maximalist art. Fully-immersive, unfolding, chaotic. Non-directed. Non-linear. Easily overwhelming.
It’s installation art, but you become the art. The experience. The mystery.
As designers, we have a directive and a goal. We craft with Adobe and tablet, with hues, masks and bytes. Our final product may or may not affect multiple senses. Sight, touch, sound. Sometimes even smell. We have to consider how the final design can capture the attention of the consumer on the store shelf or on a mobile phone. How can we lift one brand’s value over its competitor?
We weed through the cacophony of visual information to focus and simplify the message. Drawing from varied cultural viewpoints and influences we create effective package design and interactive experiences. We solve mysteries.
In Meow Wolf, what I came to realize was that lights can be touched to create new lights. Glowing bones could be tapped to create musical tones. Rocks can be climbed that become pillows to your feet. A washing machine can be entered and slide you into another dimension.
In Meow Wolf, inspiration was bleeding through the walls, but inspiration is really all around us in everyday life. Solutions to our daily design challenges can be found by being open to seeing them right in front of us or experiencing something in an unconventional way. Exercising and challenging imagination paves the way to solutions. Sometimes solutions can be found by going through your fridge.
-Michael Kishaba highly recommends you book a trip to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe and challenge your inspirations.