NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory approached us to create a welcome brochure that was handed out to all new hires. We were so excited to think of something that would stoke enthusiasm for the journey ahead at the Lab. We were given access to NASA's vast collection of high-resolution images, including breathtaking shots of galaxies taken on various space missions. Knowing that we wanted to do something that felt unique, engaging, and brought a certain "cool" factor to engineering, we turned to the Eames' Powers of Ten as our core inspiration. In referencing scale as a key design element, we built a welcome packet that left new JPL employees with a sketchbook and their employee handbook, wrapped in images taken by the Hubble Telescope.
Our core concept was based around an academic video by Charles & Ray Eames' called "Powers of Ten". It explains the vastness of space by hovering over a picnic blanket and zooming out to 10 times the previous dimension, gradually and smoothly walking someone from a tight frame of someone reaching for a sandwich to a full shot of Earth in the vast emptiness of space. We felt it an appropriate metaphor for illustrating where in the JPL "solar system" a new hire might find his or her desk at work.
A core feature of our design was the inclusion of a notebook for new hires. At Innovation Protocol, we were all given a sketchbook on our first day to fill with our thoughts. Finding this such a gratifying process, I decided the new hires at JPL might need a similar space for thoughts, doodles, and random, moonshot caliber ideas. At the core, I wanted to celebrate the creativity that went into engineering garments, spaceships, and the tools necessary to further outer space missions.