David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

IN SOMEONE ELSE'S SHOES.
21 November 2019

Santander's US arm recently surprised commuters by erecting a two-storey house in the middle of New York's World Trade Center station.

Designed by immersive experience studio HELO and director Annie Saunders, the house was built to raise awareness of domestic violence, specifically the financial pressures faced by victims.


The idea was to show how "the most dangerous place in the world for a woman is her home", yet escape is often made impossible by financial abuse (e.g. restricted access to bank accounts). For Saunders, the challenge was to make this desperation tangible.

"It specifically responds to the question about why you don't just leave," Saunders explains. "We've created a house that starts with a series of rooms and when you move through, there are certain surprising threats like doors that close and some that don't have doorknobs."

Incidental details mask the pain within.  

As visitors navigate the house, incidental details and calculated sound design ram home the pain that exists behind closed doors. Thus, what appears to be a happy, stable home becomes something far more threatening.

Both Saunders and Santander hope this prompts further conversation about the ties that bind in the worst possible way, and that financial support allows more victims of domestic abuse to leave their own broken homes behind.

HELO are represented in the UK by Lemonade Reps. For more information, ring Corin West on 07792 675 779 or drop him a line via corin@lemonadereps.com.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.