My trip to Elsewhere

There is a way to talk about The Madcap Motel that is very meta about immersive entertainment. In one form or another, these experiences all aim to transport us Elsewhere and promise us a temporary escape from Reality.

Madcap’s particular Elsewhere is a house of curiosities. Curiosity is the basis for the main part of the experience (basically, what could be behind that door?). The people (actors) trapped in Elsewhere, too, are curious: both inquisitive and unusual. Some wore lab coats and carried clipboards, on which they enthusiastically took notes regarding not only the strange phenomena of Elsewhere but also our own behaviors as visitors. At one point, a scientist character gestured our group over to observe one of the creatures of Elsewhere: a shadow puppet of her own hand behind a large leaf. It is the essence of childlike playfulness: inexhaustible curiosity, and the willingness to take even the most ridiculous things completely seriously.

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The way to travel back to earth: Mapping the design of BTS concert endings

If you are ARMY (a BTS fan), you probably know the common structure of a BTS concert, and you probably know about the last-song lie. This lie has been told at BTS concerts since at least 2015. Here’s what happens. About two hours in, one of the guys, usually RM, announces that “this is the last song.” But really, it’s only the last song before a short break, after which they always return for their encore set—to nobody’s surprise. When RM makes this last song announcement, there is still about another hour’s worth of concert to go, and the audience knows it.

Why has saying something technically untrue become such a reliable feature of BTS’ concerts? Because BTS are masters of something extremely difficult: ending well. They put a great deal of thought into how they end their shows, and they do so because they care about their fans—and themselves—not only in those key emotional moments, but in all other moments too.

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Coordination of Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program

From 2014 to 2017, I was the assistant coordinator and classroom manager at the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program. Penn’s MAPP degree was the first of its kind in the world. I was fortunate to work with instructors and guest lecturers who are the leaders in the field (including Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth, James Pawelski, and many more), as well as dozens of brilliant, passionate students and alumni who are leaders in their own right.

What I originally understood as “simply” an administrative role (though a fulfilling one), I have come to recognize as the foundation of my journey as an experience designer for well-being.

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