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The Arctic Refuge Experience


How do you inspire people to stand up for a place they will never visit?

After decades of protection, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is being auctioned off for oil and gas development. The Wilderness Society and Do Something Strategic needed to create empathy for one of Earth's last true wildernesses before it was permanently destroyed, and Future Colossal stepped in to help. Greeted by sold-out crowds from New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, this experience showed the Arctic teeming with life.


Do Something Strategic


The Wilderness Society


Creative Direction, Experience Design, Development, AV, Installation, Logistics


"By bringing the magic and splendor of the refuge to people who are unlikely to ever visit, a traveling immersive installation aims to inspire immediate action against oil development."

— Audubon Magazine, November 2019

Future Colossal Arctic Refuge Experience

Empathy for a place you only experienced virtually.

We used a variety of sensory technology to create an immersive installation that allowed participants to experience the Arctic Reserve through their senses. We recreated the soft ground under their feet, the smells of summer and spring and the sounds of running rivers.

Sensory Technologies
  • 4K footage from over a dozen adventurers & documentations
  • 66 million pixels video projected
  • 40 DMX lights and effects
  • 16 channels of sound
  • Customized scents
  • Atmospherics and fans
  • Depth sensors
  • Mirrors and reflections
  • Customized flooring
Projection deer made of stars
Person looking at projection flowers
Interactive dark red oil animation
Person touching mist
Walking dark grass
Arc hero

To complement the Arctic Refuge Experience journey, Future Colossal created an activation area designed to connect participants with ways they can help. Using the framework of an advocacy corporation – Nation’s Outraged Wilderness Advocates Assemble Against hYpocrisy – the participants of the experience offered their own bid for the preservation of the Arctic Refuge. Participants used touchscreens, phone recorders, photo booths and social walls – to step up with the other 4000 people who joined the movement to #protectthearctic by sharing their efforts on Instagram.

Inside view of the Arctic Refuge Experience
Darker inside view of Arctic Refuge Experience

Participants were inspired to protect this endangered land not only by engaging with an ever-changing, lush environment populated by herds of caribou, Grey wolves, Arctic foxes, Golden eagles, Grizzly bears and the voices of the Gwich’in people who have lived here for thousands of years, but also by being immersed in what it would mean if this land was changed forever.

Future Colossal encouraged participants to reflect on the value of an environment threatened by impending oil exploitation and to decry the destruction of ecosystems to feed our addiction to a dying power source.

The Results:
• Over 9000 attendees in New York, DC and San Francisco
• Over 3800 voicemails recorded to send to major stakeholders
• Over 1400 commitments to take action
• Over 2300 photos taken and shared on social media