File/Life

FileLife_ASMH-59

Co-creating an installation design remembering the stories of Pennhurst

The Pennhurst State School and Hospital in Spring City, Pennsylvania was an institution for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities operated by the state of Pennsylvania from 1908–1987. When it opened, Pennhurst was considered a model facility. When it closed, it was because Pennhurst violated the human rights of the people living there. Over nearly eight decades, more than 10,000 people lived at Pennhurst. Their lives contain its history. Who are they? What were their lives like? What do their stories have to say to us today?

File/Life is a community-led, co-created installation and creative exploration of the Pennhurst archives by seven archivists, all people with disabilities and/or family members, including two former Pennhurst residents. These community archivists share stories that made them listen, feel, imagine, and remember. In doing so, they ask the question: Can a file ever contain a life?

We collaborated with the team for 2 years to co-create, design, fabricate, and develop the installation and digital application.

Client

Institute on Disabilities, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Services

Environmental Design, App Design, Brand Identity, Print Collateral

Year

2023

Fabrication

Sean Mercer, Mercerworks

FileLife_ASMH-23
FileLife_ASMH-40
FileLife_ASMH-57
FileLife_ASMH-16
FileLife_ASMH-32
FileLife_ASMH-18
Mockup-1
FileLife_ASMH-56
FileLife_ASMH-42
FileLife_ASMH-20
FileLife_ASMH-50
FileLife_ASMH-34
FileLife_ASMH-9
FileLife_ASMH-36
TU-FileLife-BusStop
FileLife_ASMH-26
FileLife_ASMH-60
FileLife_ASMH-58
TU-FileLife-IphoneSocial
TU-FileLife-Postcard-2
Group

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