Beauty as Culture

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Beauty Culture Digital Salon

Annenberg Space for Photography • Los Angeles, CA

Beauty Culture Digital Salon

In a ground-breaking six-month exhibition entitled “Beauty Culture,” the Annenberg Space for Photography takes a deep look at the culture and commerce of female beauty through hundreds of photographs by iconic photographers.  The Annenberg Foundation asked Storyline Studio to create an interactive installation for the exhibition inside the gallery’s workshop.  The result is the Beauty Culture Digital Salon.

Visitors to the gallery can sit at one of two stations in front of a large flatscreen monitor, styled in the fashion of a Hollywood makeup table. They use a smaller cosmetics mirror — which is actually an iPad 2 — as a multi-touch interface to take a high-resolution photograph of their own face and then give themselves a virtual makeover.

Storyline Studio recruited the virtual makeover experts at to program a customized iPad app that allows the visitor to apply blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara, or give themselves a new hairstyle, hair color, or colored contact lenses.  In addition, the user can “morph” their own face to make it appear more symmetrical.  Then, they can choose to post it to their Facebook account for all their friends to see their new virtual “look.”

Exhibit and tradeshow builders DisplayWorks fabricated the custom glamour-style salon furniture that we designed for the installation, including a special housing for the iPad 2 that adds LED lighting strips and an articulated arm for easy positioning of the touchscreens.

Below are two of Storyline Studio’s original design renderings for different layout configurations.  The exhibit is designed especially to travel in case this show ends up moving to other galleries after its six-month run at the Annenberg Space for Photography.

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