Experiential + Branding

In collaboration with Yael Haruni

Kasey and Yael met at SVA and quickly become close friends. They bonded over growing up in religious families, and now on their own trying to figure out who they really are. They wished to create something to feel that closeness again while developing their own beliefs and identities. Graduating meant they have to do real things now, and this final project at SVA hangs onto the fun of childhood and represents the kind of designers they are. 

They thought of communities where people become extremely close to one another where it feels like family and cults came to mind. This also tied into the stage of life they are in, as most cult members tend to join during the frightful realization of adulthood. They then asked this question: “What if we made a cult?” But cults hurt people. And they were not hurtful people.

They were curious as to why cults have been harmful, and realized it is the stripping of individuality and freedom within the cults. So they asked the question: “What if we designed the first good cult?”

Using design to reiterate the message of individuality, they created RHIZ.

Visual Reference

Ginger is a symbol of individualism as each piece different with its own weird and unique shape. From this, logos and symbols were created.

Taking the shape of ginger and its unique curves, this building is intended for all of the rituals. The middle is the release ring, the burning forces ritual is done underneath it, and the ginger selection is on the balcony. Billboards are placed around the ritual building to reiterate the message of Rhiz and to remind members of their individualism. 

Members stand around a fire and burn an item that represents an idea/lifestyle that was forced upon them in their life. Ex: a keyboard for the 9-5 life or a diaper for having a baby.
Purpose: Discarding ideas forced upon you in the past in order to become your true self.

After the burning forces ritual, one must select a piece of ginger from the bin that they feel represents them for whatever reason. It is then laid down on a t-shirt and spray painted over.
Purpose: Creating the sense of individuality and belongingness upon entering.

Members choose someone in the cult to go to the release ring with. If they disagree with someone, it is encouraged to choose them. There may be screaming, dancing, crying, but no violence.
Purpose: Release pent up emotions towards a person and connect one-on-one.