Laura Brunow Miner
Designer
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Mad Science Fair

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Mad Science Fair

A Halloween event hosted by Pinterest Engineering.

 

Few things light me up more than connecting people through shared passions. For this reason, Pinterest's internal culture (and product mission) to help people discover and do what they love was a great fit for me. We experimented with a skill-sharing event format for all kinds of different events...even a massive Halloween party.

 
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  Anthony Sheedy of Rucksack Roastery brought refractometers, scales and phone apps to taste and talk through the science of coffee.

Anthony Sheedy of Rucksack Roastery brought refractometers, scales and phone apps to taste and talk through the science of coffee.

 
 

We set out to host an engineering open house that shared some of this internal culture with the greater community. Halloween is a big deal at Pinterest, so within a few brainstorms we landed on a “Mad Science Fair” to which we would invite hundreds of Bay Area engineers.

Our first step was to reach out to our internal maker club and encourage them to teach sessions. They did not disappoint, throwing out ideas like a robot making and sumo showdown session, beer-brewing robots and headphone making. Not to mention a tech talk on machine learning and an intro to the festivities from our new head of engineering, Li Fan.

 
 
  My installer Jon Stevens built a reusable giant trifold poster for the event.

My installer Jon Stevens built a reusable giant trifold poster for the event.

  The GIF I made for the invite.

The GIF I made for the invite.

 
 

Co-workers also put me in touch with the geekiest coffee brewers and food scientists they knew, along with a beloved neighborhood group who needed carnival games made for an upcoming kid’s Halloween event.

With a theme like Mad Science Fair, the graphics were super fun to put together. Plus we got to collaborate with my dear friend Steph Goralnick who brought a ton of great ideas to the project, along with custom designing the elaborate light bulb stage pattern under my art direction.

We also owe a debt to our event production team A2E. They did many many many things for us, but my favorite was the way they combined the props we picked out at the Prop Shop with the floral from Mission de Flores and some heads in jars into an amazingly styled setup.

 
 
  Pinterest employee Evelyn Obamas led four stations for volunteers to make help make carnival games for SOMA Youth Collaborative’s Halloween carnival.

Pinterest employee Evelyn Obamas led four stations for volunteers to make help make carnival games for SOMA Youth Collaborative’s Halloween carnival.

  Lena Kwak, former R&D chef for the French Laundry, geeks out about food science at the Pinterest Mad Science Fair 2016.

Lena Kwak, former R&D chef for the French Laundry, geeks out about food science at the Pinterest Mad Science Fair 2016.

  Artist Robb Godshaw shared his Strange Lenses exhibit, also a public art installation on Market Street.

Artist Robb Godshaw shared his Strange Lenses exhibit, also a public art installation on Market Street.

  Lightbulb patterned vinyl graphic painstakingly designed by  Steph Goralnick . Even better, she had these matching kulottes made and sent them to me as a client gift. (!)

Lightbulb patterned vinyl graphic painstakingly designed by Steph Goralnick. Even better, she had these matching kulottes made and sent them to me as a client gift. (!)

  The gif I made for the TVs in the event area.

The gif I made for the TVs in the event area.

  Tote bag I designed. Copy at bottom says “Swiped from the Pinterest mad science labs.”

Tote bag I designed. Copy at bottom says “Swiped from the Pinterest mad science labs.”

 
 

Next, read about various installations I've designed and created.