Memory Observatory




Turning Kodak moments into an immersive, sensory experience


In 2016, Kodak wanted to relaunch their Kodak Moments app at SXSW.

The app encourages users to relive their most meaningful moments by capturing the story behind them. Adding the story behind the image provides the sensorial context that a photo alone cannot capture, so users can relive and share their most precious memories in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Our challenge was to bring the experience of the app to life in a truly immersive, sensory, experiential way. The goal was to increase Kodak exposure and evolve its reputation in the eyes of the SXSW audience.


SpecialGuest partnered with tech and design company Junior to “turn Kodak moments into an immersive, sensory experience.” Kodak had enlisted Junior to develop the app, and Junior engaged SpecialGuest to concept and create the experience for the launch at SXSW.


We concepted and built a traveling installation that explores both memory through the senses and the meaning of moments in the digital age.

The Memory Observatory was a physical manifestation of the Kodak app, inviting participants to step inside a memory. Participants selected a meaningful photo from their phone and worked with an experiential guide to reconstruct the memory in detail. The guide then curated a multisensory installation of color, sound, smell, and light based on the participants’ recalled experience.

The installation premiered at SXSW and was experienced by thousands of tech-savvy (and Kodak-skeptical) attendees.

Press pickups by Engadget, Adweek, and over 200 others generated more than 500 million impressions in just a few days, giving Kodak a much-needed brand-image boost in a rapidly evolving market.