I put together a wonderfully talented team of designers to work on an experience design called My Sky is Falling that harnesses technology and story to create empathy for the challenges faced by foster care children was presented at Envision 2013: Stories of the Global Health Challenge on Thursday April 11. Attendees of the conference and the public were invited to participate in 45-minute sessions with intimate groups of 6-10 people at a time.

Envision is a program of IFP in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information. Guided by immersive performances and sensor technologies, participants in MSiF uncover a dystopian sci-fi tale. The ending shows MSiF’s roots in real experiences of foster care.

MSiF is a project of Reboot Stories, a startup dedicated to harnessing story and tech for social change. Designing with instead of for is key to Reboot’s approach to purposeful storytelling. MSiF was designed with former foster care kids through a partnership with the NGO Orange Duffel Bag. Other creators include interdisciplinary teams of Columbia University students and data scientists from the non-profit Harmony Institute. MSiF integrates Affectiva biosensors from MIT Media Lab to give further insight into social impact.

At Envision, MSiF is an innovative project going beyond the screen. MSiF will be published as a creative commons framework for foster care groups like the Brevard Family Partnership and ASPIRAnet to use in training sessions for potential foster care parents and social workers. The intent is to help participants understand on an emotional level what it is like to be a foster child.

At the end of the experience Lance Weiler with Reboot Stories along with Clint Beharry from Harmony Institute gave a presentation based on the data collected by Harmony Institute and the Affectiva biosensors from MIT Media Lab of the participants levels of emotional response to the entire program.

The design group are artists Jennifer Cox, Darryl Hell, Mikhail Iliatov and Tessa Mauclere.

Jennifer Cox
Jennifer Cox is a filmmaker with a background in both Architecture and Fine Art. The common thread in my work has always stemmed from my interest in storytelling beginning with my studies in narrative architecture to being head writer and director for the Eddy award winning first-of-its-kind FPS game, Dimenxian, designed to prepare students for the Regents Algebra exam, to finally my work as a filmmaker.

Darryl Montgomery
Darryl Montgomery [aka Darryl Hell], mixed media artist/musician, founded sektor 6 kommunikations in 1989, a socio political and artistic think tank that produces educational & artistic events and media. He has done sound/video design for productions such as “Women in Prison” [Rickie Solinger] and “New York Values” [Penny Arcade].

Mikhail Iliatov
Mikhail Iliatov was born in Russia, moved to the US in early 90’s. Has worked on art projects and exhibited since 2003. Focus on interactive installations using audio recordings, video, and computer programming, as well as book arts and photography. Live and work in Brooklyn.

Tessa Mauclere
Tessa Mauclere has degree in textile arts at the national college of art and design in Paris (ENSAAMA) where she studied the creation of trends, colours, textures, motifs, patterns, and shapes for all areas of fashion, textile and interior architecture. She then graduated with a master degree in Event Design in Montreal, studying and creating site specific-installations and exhibition design.