Hooked: When Want Becomes Need in atlanta, ga, 2022


This was an exhibition that paired art and science together, under the umbrella topic of addiction. It was held at Pullman Yards in Atlanta, Georgia.

Working with close to twenty artists from all around the globe, I helped create a design system for this exhibition with the curatorial staff at Emory University, who hosted the exhibition.

The staff created four themes within the exhibition: euphoria, speed of life, beyond control, and harm to hope. Each topic, and the artwork it was paired with, addressed addiction in a different way, and I wanted the exhibit label to show as much. I took the classic label shape and turned it on its head for this show.

For the euphoria theme, the yellow label, I wanted the label to look like a smile. These exhibits dealt with the effect of dopamine on the brain when one is addicted to something that makes them happy.

Speed of life, the blue label, took the standard label shape and gave it a little bit of visual movement. It represented the way technology has made our life feel so chaotic and a little bit too much at times.

Beyond control, the orange label, was what happens to someone when they are beyond their limit. That label shape looked like a cliff, someone teetering on the edge of safety and destruction.

Harm to hope, the red label, was a combination of all three of the past label shapes, but also slightly altered to become its own shape. That theme, and its coexisting artworks, was the final theme of exhibition and marked the exit way, so the label shape became the culmination of all that came before it. Metaphorically, and graphically, the shape ended up as a battered shape, a person who had been through it all, and who is still managing to find happiness at the end. They came through the harm, and ended up hopeful, just as the exhibition did.