New York is an amazing place for interactive and unique experiences. One such experience was the Museum of Feelings in New York City. This innovative museum featured an immersive exhibition that captured the feeling of the city and its people.
The Museum of Feelings was a pop-up museum located in New York City that aimed to create an immersive, interactive experience centered on emotions. Created by the fragrance brand Glade, the museum used a variety of sensory elements to evoke different emotions in its visitors.
It was housed in a small building within the Brookfield Place at the very cusp of Lower Manhattan. The location was chosen for its proximity to popular tourist destinations and its accessibility to public transportation, making it easy for visitors to find and access the museum. Another popular museum in the Manhattan area is the City Museum of New York.
The temporary installation took guests on an interactive journey filled with light and sound installations. As you moved through the various rooms, it stimulated senses using sights, sounds, and smells. With every step, visitors could get a better feel for the city and its people, enabling them to explore themes of joy, wonder, and connection. It allowed them to become more connected to the city and its citizens.
While the pop up museum is no longer open, it was an interesting example of how companies are using immersive experiences to engage with consumers in a unique and innovative way. It will remain a memorable, even a famous historic event in New York.
In this blog post, we will explore the Museum of Feelings in more detail, including its history, exhibits, and impact. We will also explore why the museum is important for New York City and its significance in the broader context of experiential marketing. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of what the Museum of Feelings was and what we can learn from its success, so let’s get started!
The History of the Museum of Feelings
The Museum of Feelings was created by the fragrance brand Glade as a way to promote its line of scented products. Glade came to a creative firm Radical Media to help it market its five new scents, each representing five emotional states: Optimism, Joy, Invigorated, Exhilarated, and Calm. Radical Media figured out an innovative way to make people remember the smell — making memories around it. As Evan Schechtman, digital creative director and chief technology officer at Radical Media says, “Memory for us is the path to emotion.”
With the idea of a four-sense adventure, Schechtman and his team of artists and designers worked to create a series of immersive, multi-sensory exhibits designed to evoke different emotions in visitors. Each exhibit was created with a specific scent, color scheme, lighting, and sound design in order to create a fully immersive experience.
For example, the “Joy” room was designed with bright green lights, upbeat music, and a fresh scent, while the “Calm” room had purple lighting, soothing scents, and a quiet atmosphere. The exhibits were designed to be interactive and visitors were encouraged to touch and explore the different elements.
The museum was first conceived in 2015 as a pop-up attraction, with a limited run of only one month. But once it opened, the Museum of Feelings quickly became a popular attraction in New York City, with long lines and crowds of visitors eager to experience the exhibits. In its month-long exhibit, it attracted thousands of visitors and generated significant media attention.
It provided visitors with a unique and immersive experience that was different from anything else in the city. By using sensory elements such as scent, temperature, light, and sound to create a multi-sensory experience, the museum was able to evoke different emotions in its visitors and create a truly memorable experience.
The success of the Museum of Feelings inspired other companies to create similar immersive experiences. It also helped popularize the concept of experiential marketing as a powerful tool for engaging with consumers.
Exploring the Museum of Feelings
The Museum of Feelings was divided into five rooms, each designed to engage visitors’ senses and emotions, with five different rooms that each dedicated to a different feeling: optimism, joy, calmness, invigoration, and exhilaration.
The room of optimism was a curtained-off pink area scented with fresh and green fragrance. It had a podium in the center emitting a prismatic spray spinning around the room with the sounds of harp and chimes playing in the background.
The room of joy was all about happiness and exuberance. The room had a forest of green LED vines dangling from above and reflecting from the mirror floor below. They could push these vines to the side to go through or pose with them to post on their social media. This room was scented with Glade’s Balsam and Fir.
After Joy came the Invigorated room. Scented with a refreshing smell, this blue room casted light halos on the feet. As the guests moved closer to the scent lamp, the halos pulsed to make it more immersive and interesting.
Visitors then proceeded towards the Exhilarated room. This one felt like being inside a kaleidoscope. Some visitors even recall it as a fractal dome straight out of The Dark Crystal.
The Calm or the cloud room featured a warm purple globe with cushy carpet and a fog machine, evoking the feeling of calmness. This room was scented with lavender and provided a soothing and quiet respite from the chaos of the city.
Mood Lens Selfie
One of the many interactive elements of the Museum of Feelings was the Mood Lens selfie. It was essentially a photo booth where visitors could take selfies that were then filtered through a “mood lens” to capture the emotions they were feeling in the moment. The mood lens used facial recognition technology to analyze the visitor’s facial expressions and determine their current mood.
The selfie machine’s had steel handplates to read skin salinity and heart rate of the subject. It would then layer colors over the selfie that correspond with their mood, the building’s temperature, and Twitter social sentiment in their region.
Radical even built a phone app so the distant users could also capture their mood selfie. But since smartphones don’t have hand sensing plates, their selfies were layered with colors using the data collected from the accelerometer. How? It used the jerkiness of your hand while handling the smartphone as the measure of stress and mood-graphed your selfie accordingly.
Even though the museum is closed, you can still get your mood selfie from their website.
Criticisms and Controversies
While the Museum of Feelings received positive reviews and was generally well-received by visitors, there were some criticisms of the museum. Some critics argued that the museum was too commercialized, and that its focus on emotions was too simplistic and superficial.
Others felt that the museum was too focused on positive emotions and failed to acknowledge the complexities and challenges of negative emotions. It was also said that the museum was overly commercialized, with a focus on selling merchandise rather than creating a meaningful emotional experience.
There were also some other controversies surrounding the Museum of Feelings. One of the main controversies was around the use of personal data by the museum. The museum’s Mood Lens Selfie feature, which analyzed visitors’ facial expressions to determine their emotions, raised concerns about privacy and the use of facial recognition technology.
Some visitors also reported feeling uncomfortable with the level of personal information the museum was collecting about them, such as their emotional responses to the exhibits. The museum’s use of scent in its exhibits was also criticized as being manipulative, and that it could trigger negative emotional responses in some people.
The Museum of Feelings responded to criticisms and controversies by making changes to the exhibits and addressing visitor concerns. For example, the museum implemented a timed entry system to reduce crowding and allow for a more comfortable visitor experience.
It also acknowledged concerns about data privacy and committed to being transparent about its data collection practices. It was stated that the museum did not share visitor data with third-party advertisers or use it for targeted marketing without explicit consent. It also allowed visitors to opt out of data collection altogether if they wished.
In response to the controversy surrounding its creation, the museum acknowledged its partnership with Glade but emphasized that it was an independent cultural institution with a mission to explore the complex and nuanced nature of emotions.
The Museum Of Feelings acknowledged that not all visitors would have the same response to the exhibits. Yet it emphasized its commitment to create an immersive and meaningful emotional experience for visitors.
Defending its use of scent as an important part of the sensory experience, the museum argued that the practice was not intended to manipulate visitors’ emotions.
Overall, the Museum of Feelings generated a range of opinions and responses, with some praising it for its innovative approach to emotions and sensory experience, and others criticizing it for being overly commercial and superficial. Despite the controversies surrounding the museum, it remains an important and influential cultural institution that left an impact on the art and cultural scene of New York City.
The Museum of Feelings was an experiential museum established in New York City for a short time. It explored human emotions through a series of interactive exhibits and installations. Each of the five rooms in this museum stimulate visitors’ senses and emotions with a unique combination of scents, sounds, and visual elements. The museum was designed to create a community around the shared experience of emotions, and to encourage visitors to engage more deeply with their own feelings and the feelings of others.
Experiential museums like the Museum of Feelings provided visitors with a unique and immersive way to engage with emotions, art, and history. By creating interactive and multisensory exhibits, they were able to create a memorable and impactful experience for visitors, which helped foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of the subject matter.
Despite the controversies and criticism surrounding it, visiting the Museum of Feelings proved to be a fun and unique experience for those interested in exploring the relationship between emotions and senses. The interactive and immersive nature of the exhibits allowed visitors to gain a greater understanding of the role that scents, sounds, and visuals play in shaping our emotions.