Armed with Our Voices

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In May 1970 at Kent State University, four students were killed and nine were wounded during a non-violent protest against the Vietnam war. The tragedy revealed the grave consequences that result when communication collapses. As Kent State approaches the 50th anniversary of the May 4 tragedy, polarized perspectives, divided communities, and school violence are commonplace.

We collaborated with Kent State to design an interactive exhibit that would encourage visitors to explore the history of student protest and the timely themes of peace and conflict transformation. The outcome is a simple, adaptable pop-up “pinwheel” experience that engages visitors by drawing them into what happened at Kent State on May 4, 1970, and why it matters today. Each “end-cap” of the exhibit symbolically serves as a memorial to each of the four students killed.

Client

Kent State University
President’s Office

Services

Brand Identity
Apparel
Print Collateral
User Experience
Web Design & Development
Exhibit Design

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The pop-up exhibit assumes no familiarity with the events of May 4, and houses curated content from the May 4 Visitor’s Center and Kent State University Libraries, Special Collections. 

Additionally, a digital “Listening Wall” experience allows visitors to watch, listen, and learn about May 4 through archival videos, articles, oral histories, and photographs. Visitors can then create a creative response to any of the exhibit content, challenging them to reflect upon the way in which issues of equality, justice, and human rights—then and now—are deeply connected.

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