MIMMI comes to Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza

MIMMI comes to Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza



MIMMI comes to Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza Thursday, June 13 beginning at 9:30 p.m.


Minneapolis Interactive Macro-Mood Installation will display mood, interact with community and visitors during summer/fall 2013


(MINNEAPOLIS)—June 4, 2013 — The Minneapolis Convention Center, City of Minneapolis and Meet Minneapolis, Convention & Visitors Association, announce the launch of the Minneapolis Interactive Macro-Mood Installation (MIMMI) on the Plaza of the Minneapolis Convention Center beginning the evening of Thursday, June 13 for the media between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. Mayor R.T. Rybak, the winning design team and Jeff Johnson, executive director of the Minneapolis Convention Center, will speak briefly and be available for interviews, and dancers from Ananya Dance Theater will be present to interact with MIMMI by performing an interactive, movement meditation about water, causing MIMMI to light up in response. The following day, Friday, June 14, MIMMI will play host to an all-day Wellness on the Plaza event that is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (details below).


This winner of the Creative City Challenge Art in the Plaza competition was selected in March from a pool of five finalists after being voted in by the public in a Facebook competition in fall 2012. In January 2013, the five finalists presented their projects to a jury who selected MIMMI a design proposal led by INVIVIA, a design and technology research lab based in Cambridge, Mass., and Urbain DRC, a design and visualization company based in Minneapolis. The team was awarded the first prize to design and install the project in the convention center’s plaza at 1301 Second Avenue South.


MIMMI will be available for viewing June 13 through October.



MIMMI is an emotional gateway to Minneapolis, bringing residents and visitors together to experience – and participate in – the collective mood of the city. MIMMI seeks to engage both the virtual and physical layers of the community, using technology to see the city in a new way and also reinforce the serendipitous gathering that has characterized urban life for millennia.


MIMMI is a large, iconic inflatable sculpture suspended from a slender structure located at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza. Cloud-like in concept, the sculpture hovers 30 feet above the ground, gathering emotive information online from Minneapolis residents and visitors to the plaza. MIMMI analyzes this information in real-time, creating abstracted light displays and triggering misting in response to this input, creating light shows at nighttime and cooling microclimates during the daytime. Whether the city is elated following a Minnesota Twins win or frustrated from the afternoon commute, MIMMI responds, changing behavior throughout the day and night.


MIMMI’s design team sees it as a productive response to how cities and societies have evolved in relation to ubiquitous digital media, taking advantage of the new abilities and insight such technology provides, while working to balance those privileges with new responsibilities as cities change. With more of the planet becoming urban, as well as modified by human activity, the state of the city and our use of resources must respond. MIMMI is designed to merge the discussions of digital technology, resource use and a densifying urban environment, creating an enjoyable place to gather and see the city in a new way while exploring shifting cultures and responsibilities.



To generate the city’s mood, MIMMI sources information from local Twitter feeds and uses textual analysis to detect the emotion of those tweets, based in part on open-source data from researchers at the University of Texas and the University of Auckland. By aggregating the positivity and negativity of tweets in real-time, MIMMI transmits the abstracted emotion of the city to a series of wifi-enabled LED bulbs and integrated misting system.


The low-energy lights, hung inside of the sculpture fabric and stretching throughout the entire shape, display the mood beginning at sunset. The color of the lights shifts from cool colors (negative) to warm and hot colors (positive) depending on the mood, with rate of the lights’ change depending on the rate of tweets. Water activity will occur during the day through tubing and nozzles embedded in the fabric of the sculpture, with higher levels of misting occurring when the city mood is happier.



Visitors to the plaza form an integral part of MIMMI’s behavior, as they are able to interact with MIMMI and help affect the mood. If the city mood is particularly “sad” or emotional for any particular reason, visitors to the plaza can come together to lift MIMMI’s (and the city’s collective) spirits, as MIMMI can detect movement at the plaza and include this information in its analytics. The more people present and moving around under the cloud, the more active MIMMI will become, responding either with increased lighting or misting depending on the time of day. Dance, high activity and movement will positively affect MIMMI’s mood displays.



In addition to the physical installation, a website and mobile application (app) will be available. The website,, will catalog the mood of the city generated by MIMMI over the summer and fall, allowing visitors to see daily and weekly trends in the city’s emotions. The website will also feature a live web cam, sponsored by IMPLEX, and links to events at the plaza and in the Convention Center. Visitors may also tweet directly to MIMMI at @mimmi.apolis and using #mimmi. MIMMI also has a Facebook page at


An app will also display this information, as well as provide a map that will give directions to MIMMI. When visitors using iOS (iPhones) arrive at the plaza, the app will transform into an augmented reality view of MIMMI, providing a wholly new way of looking at the installation with additional animations emphasizing the city’s current mood.



Essential to the design is MIMMI’s recyclability and resource use. The energy required in the lighting and fans to inflate the sculpture is minimal, equivalent to less than a tenth of a household’s average daily use. The water system, while creating pleasant microclimates in the summer, utilizes less water and energy than a typical household will during an equal time frame, enabling the large inflatable to use far fewer resources than a common home would on a daily basis.


All components of MIMMI will be reused or recycled after the completion of the display. The material the sculpture is created from was chosen specifically to serve as rain gear after the installation; dozens of ponchos, created by local fashion designer Drew Kleiner, will be made from the cloud after the summer is over and sold. All steel will be recycled, and the foundations put in place for the installation will remain for future installation and events at the plaza.



The design team members are: Allen Sayegh, Carl Koepcke, Jack Cochran, Yuichiro Takeuchi, Bradley Cantrell, Artem Melikyan and Ziyi Zhang. The team is collaborating with Tom Meachem of Landmark Creations (sculpture fabrication), Eric Cristensen of Darg, Bolgrean, Menk, Inc. (structural engineering), Koronis Fabrication, Atlas Foundations and High Five Steel Erectors.



Beginning at 6 a.m. and running throughout the day Friday, June 14 until 6:30 p.m., the Minneapolis Convention Center and Meet Minneapolis, in collaboration with lululemon, Gorilla Yogis and local yoga/fitness studios, invite the public to stop by the plaza to see MIMMI and take part in a complimentary Day of Wellness. The day includes yoga and a variety of other fitness classes for all ages and levels, studio information, goal setting workshops and more. The public is welcome to enjoy music and talk with 20 local vendors. Dunn Bros. Coffee will be available along with food options from Kelber Catering at the Minneapolis Convention Center.


June 14 schedule of events:

6 – 8 a.m.                     Sunrise Yoga with Gorilla Yogis

9:30 – 11 a.m.               Kids Yoga with Adventures of Superstretch

Noon – 1 p.m.               Noon yoga with Moksha Yoga Minneapolis

2 – 3:30 p.m.                Zumba with Kristi Gess

4 – 5 p.m.                     Buti with Sparrow Studios

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.           Happy Hour Yoga with Baron Carr



Musicians, roving video artists, dancers on bikes, ping pong players, actors and people of all ages will come together to explore Minneapolis at three downtown hubs and the Midtown Greenway during the nighttime festival Secret City.


Reflecting the diverse voices and people of the city, free performances and participatory events will occur in downtown Minneapolis from 6 until 10:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza at MIMMI, as well as the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden/Basilica of Saint Mary area and along Hennepin Avenue between 5th and 9th Streets. In addition, the Midtown Greenway bike path will feature artists and other activities during its annual event, Greenway Glow, from 6 p.m. – midnight. At MIMMI, visitors will find ping pong tables, a bicycle ballet, music, hands-on art making, a sunset dance and multiple ongoing performances.


More information about Secret City will be distributed by the City of Minneapolis soon and will be included in press kits available at MIMMI June 13 and 14. A website with information is at



Minneapolis city partners for the Creative City Challenge include the office of Mayor R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis City Council and the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy program at the city coordinator’s office. The project was coordinated by Northern The goals of the Creative City Challenge are driven by the new direction of the Minneapolis Convention Center and the city’s efforts to celebrate the design and architecture assets of Minneapolis. The 2013 Creative Index places Minneapolis' Creative Sector sixth in the nation, yet the city has seen a 19 percent decrease in architecture and design. The challenge aims to draw attention to the city’s natural and creative assets and attract new talent to the area.



The Creative City Challenge is an annual two-stage competition for Minnesota architects, landscape architects, urban designers, engineers, scientists, artists, students and individuals of all backgrounds to create and install a temporary, interactive, site-specific, eco-focused ‘portal’ to the City of Minneapolis on the Plaza of the Minneapolis Convention Center that would draw residents of the city to the Minneapolis Convention Center as a central meeting space for the surrounding area. Achieving these objectives will encourage further exploration of downtown and other areas around the city.



Image of a model of MIMMI: The Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation at the Plaza of the Minneapolis Convention Center from June until October 2013. Credit INVIVIA + urbainDRC.



A blend of form and function, the Minneapolis Convention Center provides aesthetically pleasing and innovative solutions for a variety of conferences, trade shows and events. With nearly 480,000 square feet of trade show space, 87 column-free conference meeting rooms, a 28,000-square-foot ballroom, and an auditorium with superb production and flexible technology options, the facility can handle any event from a small meeting to a large convention or trade show.



Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area.


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Kristen Montag, media communication manager, 612.767.8038,, Minneapolis_PR on Twitter.