This 10-year retrospective exhibition of the Young Architects Program (YAP) was installed at MoMA P.S.1 to celebrate the anniversary of the leading young architecture competition. The 40 collected interviews and the thousands of digital images became the basis for MoMA’s YAP digital archive and website.
For the first AIR (Audi Innovation Research) Design Forum, Consortia organized a focused discussion with a select group of leaders from the arts world and premium brands to explore trends at the intersection of lifestyle, performance, and luxury. The Design Forums bring creative producers and industry experts together in an intimate setting to address key issues through conversations facilitated by curated materials and programming. Consortia captured major themes and insights for inclusion in a comprehensive report and video series that shaped future product concepts.
Consortia worked together with Slash to conceptualize an on-site exhibition for Tumblr at Art Basel Miami. The scheme translated the profiles of 25 leading digital artists, designers, and personalities active on Tumblr’s platform into immersive environments, featuring imagery from the participants’ blogs.
Consortia developed a strategy for connecting internal and external digital communication and research within the Audi Urban Future Initiative and its network of partners. Consortia established guidelines for workflows, content streams, and social connectivity to structure key narratives and insights on the future of mobility, urban living, and the role of transportation.
Experiments in Motion was a year-long partnership curated by Consortia between Audi of America and Columbia University. The initiative developed a series of experimental concepts and programming to identify new paradigms of motion, mobility and design. Consortia coordinated three architecture studios and a network of experts, advisors, and community partners. Students, faculty, and network members came together to produce a yearlong digital content series, events, an exhibition, and public programming.
Consortia hosted a weekend-long hackathon in San Francisco with Audi Innovation Research that brought together 18 designers and technologists to prototype new kinds of orchestrated driving experiences. Along with developing the concept, structure, format, and brief, Consortia produced summary reporting and videos for future Audi research and product development.
In partnership with Audi and the California College of the Arts (CCA), Consortia planned a two-week interdisciplinary design workshop for students, graduates, and professors to explore the future of mobility in a world of connected devices. Consortia developed the concept and partnership between CCA and Audi, wrote the workshop brief, organized programming, produced video content, and developed key insights for product development.
Louis Vuitton’s global gallery network asked us to create a system of best practices for digitally connecting the programs at its contemporary art spaces and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. We produced a shared set of digital strategies for spaces in Tokyo, Paris, Munich, and Venice in order to strengthen the brand and connect it to a broader community of artists, collectors and institutions.
How is the nature of retail changing? How are new digital technologies and ways of interacting altering the way we shop and influencing our relationship to physical retail spaces? In the face of a rapidly evolving retail landscape, Consortia worked with Audi to assess its current retail strategy, identify innovative retail practices outside the automotive industry, and propose a specific strategy for transforming Audi’s physical and digital retail experience.
Consortia curated an exhibition and panel discussion for the Audi Urban Future Initiative as part of the New Museum IDEAS CITY Festival, a biennial celebration of designs for improving urban life. The exhibition included design proposals by five New York City-based architects that imagined new possibilities for local transportation networks.
Data Intelligence was a two-part event to establish the guiding principles and flagship projects for an Audi research initiative. Creative producers, technologists, artists, and auto industry experts came together for a one-day think tank followed by a week-long hackathon on designing with data. Participants presented projects and took part in a series of facilitated break-out sessions to explore opportunities, pain points, and best practices. Drawing on concepts developed during the think tank and sensor-based automobile data provided by Audi, three hackathon teams developed prototypes for new data-driven experiences and products in and around the car.
Launched at Columbia University in partnership with Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, The Energy Issue is an initiative to make energy a cultural issue. The project explores how energy consumption is impacted as much by lifestyle, social values and communication as by economics, policy and science. Leveraging the resources of the university in collaboration with cultural leaders around the world, Consortia developed a digital platform and communications strategy to showcase research and commissioned projects for a global public audience.
To explore ways in which creative cross-disciplinary thinking can inform technology and innovation, Consortia convened a think tank with Microsoft designers at the New Museum that put tech experts in conversation with influential cultural producers and thought leaders. Participants were tasked with exploring what it means to “humanize” technology and how an interdisciplinary approach to innovation can produce more compelling products.
The inaugural 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the largest architectural exhibition in the United States, provides a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience. Consortia executed digital strategy for the Biennial, including digital messaging, social media, content creation, video production, and event activation.
Consortia led a four-day creative summit at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, the “Camp David of the West” that has hosted high profile meetings for presidents and world leaders. Thirteen participants from the arts, education, philanthropy, technology, and industry met with the Sunnylands team for a series of programming that produced creative strategies for branding Sunnylands into the future.
Consortia convened virtual reality experts, filmmakers, visualization specialists, and other visionaries from the San Francisco tech community for an exclusive meet-up to imagine the intersection of autonomous vehicles and digital multimedia experiences.
In partnership with Audi Innovation Research and Audi’s Electronics Research Lab, we developed a report identifying and exploring opportunity areas, use cases, and business models for new data-driven products and services in and around the connected car. Over the course of the project, Consortia worked with San Francisco-based design firm Propelland along with a network of mentors, experts and potential industry partners.
The New Museum’s 2015 IDEAS CITY Festival explored questions of transparency, surveillance, and visibility in the city. Consortia managed space planning and installation design for cyberfeminist collective Deep Lab’s residency, along with a series of lectures, workshops, panels, and performances taking place over the course of one week at the New Museum’s temporary exhibition space at 231 Bowery.
As part of the 2016 Fast Company Innovation Festival, we developed the concept and installation design for an Audi round table discussion, “Ahead of the Curve: How to Drive Early Adoption of Emerging Technologies” at Spring Studios. To create a truly inclusive conversation, all fifty guests were given a seat alongside invited speakers at a custom-built round table. The event brought together Audi of America President Scott Keogh, New York’s Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan, and thought leader Doreen Lorenzo to explore insights into early adoption, changing consumer desires, and driving innovation across fields.
Working with NEW INC, we developed the concept and format for an Ideas Sprint that brought together adidas designers, researchers, strategists, and executives with NEW INC residents working across the disciplines of design and technology to explore new ideas around physical-digital integration. The Ideas Sprint focused on four emerging technologies—3D printing, virtual reality, wearables, and the internet of things—as a springboard to identify transformative ways to connect across digital and physical spaces. NEW INC residents specializing in each of these areas presented their work and then joined the adidas participants to brainstorm new opportunities during fast-paced, 30-minute breakout sessions.
Our work grows out of a deep interest in how new technologies, digital platforms, the built environment, and contemporary culture are transforming the way we live and communicate. With a background in architecture and digital media, we merge interdisciplinary research and iterative design in order to build successful brand platforms and strategies for the future.
We believe in creating the perfect team for each project. We compliment our core expertise as design researchers, curators, and producers by bringing on creative leaders, industry experts, and institutional partners to create engaging content and experiences at a variety of scales, both online and off.
Christopher Barley is the founder of Consortia. He has taught design courses at Columbia University and has led critiques at universities across the United States. He serves on the board of Docomomo US and has been selected by Surface Magazine as an emerging cultural influencer. His work and writing has been published internationally.
Christina Badal is Lead Strategist at Consortia. Previously, she worked on the editorial team at Alfred A. Knopf and managed The Energy Issue, the largest funded initiative at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). She received her B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University in 2014.