When you step into the graffiti installation at the Universal Hip Hop Museum, you may feel as if you've stepped into a time machine. The cold concrete, vibrant city lights, and bustling sounds of New York City in the mid-'80s surround you. But the spray can in your hand? That's pure 21st-century technology.
The idea behind this innovative exhibit was to capture the raw essence of what it was like to create graffiti on the streets of NYC during the golden age of hip hop. In a digital age where it's so easy to create, delete, and start over, we wanted to offer an experience that was decidedly low-tech, and yet technologically complex, to maintain a sense of authenticity and keep the grit of the original art form intact.
The Low-Tech Experience
We built an experience that intentionally mimics the feel of spray painting on the street. The tactile nature of the exhibit allows guests to experience the sheer thrill of creation, the weight of the can in hand, and the delightful uncertainty of the outcome.
We wanted to preserve the elements of the physical act of painting that evoke the senses – the hiss of the spray, the feel of the nozzle, the smell of the paint – while simultaneously ensuring that users aren't overburdened with the cleanup and the consequences of the traditional graffiti art.
This seemingly simple, low-tech user experience was not as straightforward to develop as one might assume.
The High-Tech Reality
Despite our aim to deliver a low-tech experience, the process of developing this graffiti experience was anything but. Behind the scenes, it's an intricate dance of software development and exhaustive testing to ensure the spray from our 'cans' feels exactly like the real thing.
Our team of engineers and artists spent countless hours studying the physics of spray paint - the flow, the speed, the spread, and how it interacts with different surfaces. This was then translated into complex algorithms and integrated into the design of the can and the software that drives it.
The cans themselves are a marvel of modern engineering, designed meticulously to feel as close to the real thing as possible. Weight, balance, the give of the nozzle under your fingers, all have been carefully calibrated to provide an uncannily authentic experience.
The Perfect Fusion
The immersive graffiti experience at the Universal Hip Hop Museum is a testament to our team's ability to marry nostalgia with modern technology. It offers an experience that bridges the divide between hip hop's street art roots and its place in the digital age. It is the perfect fusion of tradition and innovation, designed to spark creativity and provide a tactile, sensory-rich experience.
As you stand in our graffiti installation, can in hand, immersed in the ambiance of 1980s New York City, you're not just experiencing an innovative exhibit. You're actively participating in an ongoing love letter to hip hop's rich, vibrant culture and history. We hope that each spray, each line, and each color you choose adds to that narrative, paying homage to an art form that is at the very heart of hip hop.
This commitment to authenticity, to the fusion of tradition and technology, to the gritty, raw, and real heart of hip hop - this is why we built the graffiti experience for the Universal Hip Hop Museum. To let each visitor be a part of that legacy, to feel the thrill of creation and the pulse of history. Since the exhibit opened we have been thrilled to see some of the most iconic Hip Hop Artists and guests from all around the globe engage, tag and enjoy the Graffiti Experience.