In the United States, if you want to push yourself physically there’s a competitive infrastructure in place, from t-ball to the pros, to help you achieve your goals. That’s not so much the case in China, says Media Design Practices alumnus David Schwarz, creative partner at Hush, the New York-based design agency: “The minute percentage of the population that are seen as having athletic ability are whisked away at a young age and put on an Olympic track.”
Schwarz’s award-winning studio, whose clients have included Nike, Google and Showtime, was recently hired by Under Armour to introduce its sportswear and “Make All Athletes Better” mission to the Middle Kingdom.
The solution? The Under Armour Experience which—inspired by installations by artists like Bill Viola and Doug Aitken (BFA 91 Illustration)—brings the sights, sounds and adrenaline rush of competitive sports to Shanghai audiences via a 270-degree immersive architectural and film experience.
“It’s located inside a glossy new luxury mall, but it sticks out like a sore thumb—in a good way,” laughs Schwarz about the visceral affair, which features Michael Phelps, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Chinese athletes like soccer player Long Tan and continues for the next five months. “It’s an enclosed, highly designed mystery that exudes sound and light of epic proportions.”