SOURCE: Meet Minneapolis

Meet Minneapolis

June 13, 2013 21:14 ET

Minneapolis Interactive Macro-Mood Installation (MIMMI) Public Art Displays City's Moods

MIMMI on Display at the Minneapolis Convention Center Through October 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) -  The Minneapolis Convention Center, City of Minneapolis and Meet Minneapolis, Convention & Visitors Association, today announced the launch of the Minneapolis Interactive Macro-Mood Installation (MIMMI) on the Plaza of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

MIMMI, the winner of the Creative City Challenge Art in the Plaza competition, was selected by a jury in March from a pool of five finalists after being voted in by the public in a Facebook competition in fall 2012. INVIVIA, a design and technology research lab based in Cambridge, Mass., and Urbain DRC, a design and visualization company based in Minneapolis collaborated to bring their vision to life. The team was awarded the prize to design and install the project in the convention center's plaza at 1301 Second Avenue South.

MIMMI will be available for viewing and interaction in Minneapolis through October 2013.


MIMMI is an emotional gateway to Minneapolis, bringing residents and visitors together to experience -- and participate in -- the collective mood of the city. MIMMI seeks to engage both the virtual and physical layers of the community, using technology to see the city in a new way and also reinforce the serendipitous gathering that has characterized urban life for millennia.

MIMMI is a large, iconic inflatable sculpture suspended from a slender structure located at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza. Cloud-like in concept, the sculpture hovers 30 feet above the ground, gathering emotive information online from Minneapolis residents and visitors to the plaza. MIMMI analyzes this information in real-time, creating abstracted light displays and triggering misting in response to this input, creating light shows at nighttime and cooling microclimates during the daytime. Whether the city is elated following a Minnesota Twins win or frustrated from the afternoon commute, MIMMI responds, changing behavior throughout the day and night.

MIMMI's design team sees it as a productive response to how cities and societies have evolved in relation to ubiquitous digital media, taking advantage of the new abilities and insight such technology provides, while working to balance those privileges with new responsibilities as cities change. With more of the planet becoming urban, as well as modified by human activity, the state of the city and our use of resources must respond. MIMMI is designed to merge the discussions of digital technology, resource use and a densifying urban environment, creating an enjoyable place to gather and see the city in a new way while exploring shifting cultures and responsibilities.


To generate the city's mood, MIMMI sources information from local Twitter feeds and uses textual analysis to detect the emotion of those tweets, based in part on open-source data from researchers at the University of Texas and the University of Auckland. By aggregating the positivity and negativity of tweets in real-time, MIMMI transmits the abstracted emotion of the city to a series of wifi-enabled LED bulbs and integrated misting system.

The low-energy lights, hung inside of the sculpture material and stretching throughout the entire shape, display the mood beginning at sunset. The color of the lights shifts from cool colors (negative) to warm and hot colors (positive) depending on the mood, with rate of the lights' change depending on the rate of tweets. Water activity will occur during the day through tubing and nozzles embedded in the fabric of the sculpture, with higher levels of misting occurring when the city mood is happier.


Visitors to the plaza form an integral part of MIMMI's behavior, as they are able to interact with MIMMI and help affect the mood. If the city mood is particularly "sad" or emotional for any particular reason, visitors to the plaza can come together to lift MIMMI's (and the city's collective) spirits, as MIMMI can detect movement at the plaza and include this information in its analytics. The more people present and moving around under the cloud, the more active MIMMI will become, responding either with increased lighting or misting depending on the time of day. Dance, high activity and movement will positively affect MIMMI's mood displays.


In addition to the physical installation, a website and mobile application (app) are available. The website,, catalogs the mood of the city generated by MIMMI over the summer and fall, allowing visitors to see daily and weekly trends in the city's emotions. The website also features a live web cam, sponsored by IMPLEX, events at the plaza and further information. Visitors may tweet directly to MIMMI at @MIMMIapolis and using #mimmi. MIMMI's Facebook page is


Essential to the design is MIMMI's recyclability and resource use. The energy required in the lighting and fans to inflate the sculpture is minimal, equivalent to less than a tenth of a household's average daily use. The water system, while creating pleasant microclimates in the summer, utilizes less water and energy than a typical household will during an equal time frame, enabling the large inflatable to use far fewer resources than a common home would on a daily basis.

All components of MIMMI will be reused or recycled after the completion of the display. The material the sculpture is created from was chosen specifically to serve as rain gear after the installation; dozens of ponchos, created by local fashion designer Drew Kleiner, will be made from the cloud after the summer is over and sold. All steel will be recycled, and the foundations put in place for the installation will remain for future installation and events at the plaza.


The design team members are: Allen Sayegh, Carl Koepcke, Jack Cochran, Yuichiro Takeuchi, Bradley Cantrell, Artem Melikyan and Ziyi Zhang. The team is collaborating with Tom Meachem of Landmark Creations (sculpture fabrication), Eric Cristensen of Darg, Bolgrean, Menk, Inc. (structural engineering), Koronis Fabrication, Atlas Foundations and High Five Steel Erectors. Team bios are available at


As a first major public event at MIMMI, Secret City will showcase musicians, roving video artists, dancers on bikes, ping pong players, actors and people of all ages will come together to explore Minneapolis at three downtown hubs and the Midtown Greenway during the nighttime festival Secret City.

At MIMMI, visitors will find ping pong tables, a bicycle ballet, music, hands-on art making, a sunset dance and multiple ongoing performances. More information about Secret City is available online at


Minneapolis city partners for the Creative City Challenge include the office of Mayor R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis City Council and the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy program at the city coordinator's office. The project was coordinated by Northern The goals of the Creative City Challenge are driven by the new direction of the Minneapolis Convention Center and the city's efforts to celebrate the design and architecture assets of Minneapolis. The 2013 Creative Index places Minneapolis' Creative Sector sixth in the nation, yet the city has seen a 19 percent decrease in architecture and design. The challenge aims to draw attention to the city's natural and creative assets and attract new talent to the area.


Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area. 

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