The Design Museum’s newest exhibit, Email is
Dead, opens from the 28th September through the 22nd October and invites visitors to consider the look, feel, sound, and even the smell of email.
This free, interactive exhibition brought to you by Intuit Mailchimp’s in-house creative agency, Wink, and designed in partnership with creative studio Something Special Studios, examines how email’s impact goes far beyond simply a way to communicate. The exhibition explores how email helps shape our work lives, relationships, cultures and economies. Email is
Dead is an immersive experience designed to prompt wider conversations about the future of communication and attempts to capture a 360-view of the feelings and sensations that email evokes.
Email and the Future of Artificial Intelligence
Dead leads visitors through an engaging journey of the history of email from its embryonic beginnings in the 1970s to what the email experience might look like in 2070.
“Now feels like the optimal time to tell this story because there’s been chatter about the death of email for over a decade. And every time there’s a new ‘thing’ like SMS or social media experts speculate on its extinction. And now with the rapid expansion of AI, we found the chatter about the death of email to be even more relevant” explains Intuit Mailchimp’s CMO Michelle Taite, “In fact, with the help of AI, our inboxes are becoming increasingly personalised, helping marketers create meaningful, long standing connections. In essence, email is becoming smarter than it’s ever been”.
The Sound of Email
The bespoke soundtrack in the exhibition space is composed of synthesised compositions that depict email’s daily routine. Whether it’s loose and playful or fast and light, the tracks showcase email’s journey making its way from one sender to another. Only every now and then will guests hear the occasional crescendo of all sounds and steps it takes to send an email i.e. a swoosh, pop, ding, type, click, and send.
The Smell of Email
The exhibition space will be infused with an Eau du Email scent developed in collaboration with Something Special Studios and Tatiana Godoy Betancur to evoke clarity and is carefully crafted from aromatic plants like bergamot, geranium, sage, lavender, and sandalwood known for promoting a balanced nervous system. Much like email itself, scent has the power to transform mood and mindset. This carefully curated scent is designed to replicate a type of lucidity and sense of connection that email can generate as a whole (yet all too often can be lost in the content of emails).
The Look of Email
Wink, Mailchimp’s in-house creative team, has spearheaded the exhibition identity utilising a bright yellow pixel pattern, email iconography with a 3D sculptural lens and a typeface inspired by the first email ever sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. The look is decidedly not “internet”, but rather very much focused on “email”. The exhibition features colourful, interactive displays, inviting visitors to explore email’s impact through activations like burying their own ‘email time capsule’ or being prompted to take an email personality test to discover what kind of emailer they really are.