Local Projects LLC
Dreams of Freedom
National Museum of American Jewish History
Dreams of Freedom
Located at the National Museum of American Jewish History, Dreams of Freedom uses a signature projection system that blends projected imagery with physical sculpture in an installation that portrays a poetic interpretation explaining why one quarter of Europe’s Jewish population immigrated to America at the turn of the last century.
LOCAL PROJECTS Concept, Design and Production by Local Projects Creative Director: Jake Barton Designer / Film maker: Ariel Efron Designer / Art Director: Katie Lee Producer: Tiya Gordon Lead Content Developer: Adam Kosberg Animator: Robert Paynter 2D Composite Artist: Sophie Lee Writer: Aurin Squire Researcher: Esteban Ucros Audio Mixer: Matt Rocker Composer: Robert Burger Voice Talent: Michael Harris Levinson (as Issac) Voice Talent: Daniella Rabbani (as Fran) Voice Talent: Avaram Mlotek (as Nathan) Voice Talent: Temma Schaechter (as Rose) Voice Talent: Ethan Sher (as George) Production Artist: Alexander Ho Fabricator: Jeffrey Taras"
Momoko Kishino: The installation creates a very strong impression as documents and images once captured in 2 dimensions become 3 dimensional as they are projected on the corian sheets which elegantly curl away from the wall. The letters appear to float down from above which seems very fitting for the title 'Dreams of Freedom' The letters of the Jewish who people immigrated to America depict dreams, sacrifices, different voices and mixed feeling, yet the sculpted projection surface unites them all into a very powerful singular work. What makes it even more special is those projected images exactly fit to this non-flat projection screen, and depending on the moment – and the viewing angle the images projected can be one united picture or appear as many sheets. These contrasts ensure the viewer becomes immersed in these powerful words and memories.
Dreams of Freedom
1. Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the challenge posed to you? Did it get you excited and why?
Located on the second floor of the new National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia PA, Dreams of Freedom is an installation that focuses on the numerous factors that combined to motivate one quarter of Europe’s Jewish population to immigrate to America at the turn of the last century. The major methods through which these decisions were discussed and ultimately made were through mailed letters, a poetic interpretation of which provide the content for this installation.
For visitors watching, letters float and fall from the sky.
The letters, which are read in English, Yiddish and Hebrew relate what the new world will bring, describing the good and bad that await immigrants in America. Integrated into the media are small-stylized period animations of the scenes described. These were designed and animated from paper cutout postcards, drawings, old family photographs, and imagined period landscapes.
2. What point of view did you bring to the challenge? Was there anything additional that you wanted to achieve with this project or bring to this project that was not part of the original brief?
Dreams of Freedom uses a signature projection system that blends projected imagery with physical sculpture. Instead of a flat projection screen, the surface that receives the projection is a custom-fabricated, white Corian, 18 foot long, three-dimensional sculpture. This never before seen approach offers the unusual opportunity to mix the undulations of the physical form with projected illumination.
3. When designing this project, whose interests did you consider? (Discuss various stakeholders, audiences, retailing, manufacturing, assembly, distribution, etc., for example.)
The main goal of this installation is to convey to visitors what people in Europe were dreaming of, imagining, and sacrificing for. It shares people’s personal histories with the hope of engaging and educating visitors to the broader importance of the history of Jewish immigration to the United States.
4. Describe the rigor that informed your design. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) If this was a strictly research or strategy project, please provide more detail here.
We worked with the museum’s curatorial team to review hundreds of archival letters and to then interpret not only the letters’ content into a series of 5 films based on historical accounts but to use the actual aged and curved letter forms as the basis for the model of the sculpture through iterative 3D scanning and modeling.
5. What is the social value of your design? (Gladdening, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, labor-mindful, environmental, cultural, etc.) How does it earn its keep in the world?
See answer to question 1.
6. If you could have done one thing differently with the project, what would you have changed?