A private lounge show by Kat Cunning. Punching bags for your feminist anger. A car wash that cleanses your soul with laughter.
These are just some of the amazing experiences inside the “interactive funhouse of style, technology and culture” that is Refinery29’s third annual 29Rooms project.
We’ve got pics of all the rooms for you above, and a walkthrough of the entire warehouse at 106 Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg where the exhibit will be from Sept. 8-11.
Spanning a literal 29 rooms, the exhibit always finds high-profile collaborators from the art world as well as A-list celebrities with an activist streak.
This year’s show inspired Jake Gyllenhaal to co-create a shred room where people could obliterate their fears, the Women’s March gave attendees a way to get inspired and stay active, Alexa Meade shrank our 3D world back into two dimensions with her psychedelic sets — you can easily spend hours exploring the rooms and, of course, taking advantage of all the selfie ops.
One of the most timely and sure to be popular rooms is Jen Mussari’s The Future Is Female, where rows of punching bags hand-painted with grrl power slogans are lined up to be hit with boxing gloves.
“We knew we wanted to work with Madame Gandhi,” Mussari explains. “Her music is very beat-driven, so we knew we wanted to make something out of her words. It’s about the expression of female anger in a productive way in a space that is acceptable and safe and actually fun [the bags make sound as you punch them]. It's very cathartic.”
For the first time, one of the 29Rooms also has a live performer. Katrina Cunningham will make her musical debut as Kat Cunning in her collaboration room with Juno Calypso. Her first single, Baby, is out now.
“Juno and I have a very similar aesthetic in that we’re both very feminine presenting with a dark undertone,” Cunningham says about the room, which is designed like a speakeasy where guests will be asked to write down their dreams on notecards that she’ll turn into songs onstage. “No one’s gonna see the same show or feel the same thing.”
Even the rooms sponsored by brands are a delight, from the cartoon kitchen by Dunkin' Donuts to Juicy Couture’s snowy beach for its new fragrance Glacé.
Alas, tickets to 29Rooms have been sold out for weeks. Sign up to be the first to know when they go on sale next year; until then, check out our gallery of the rooms and the full details of what’s inside:
Art Heals (The Art of Elysium): This room is made of white paper lanterns ready to be painted.
The Art of Innovation (Cadillac and Jason Wu): Flanked by two walls calling on you to Dare Greatly, Jason Wu created a floating monument to creativity all in tones of grey, like an idea with scattered pieces coalescing into something new.
Become the Masterpiece (Alexa Meade): Two trippy facades somehow warp the world into two dimensions, turning you into an illustration. Accessorize with Meade’s painted sunglasses, coats and hats for maximum effect!
Behind the Flavor: Step into Dunkin’ Donuts’ cartoon kitchen, they through the refrigerator into their coffee taste test zone. Smell three new flavors — Blueberry Pancake, Coconut Caramel and Dulce de Leche — and vote for the one you want to see on store shelves.
Bright Future (Planned Parenthood): Neon signs are the medium of the moment, and what better way to use it than to highlight the importance of birth control in everyone’s lives.
Cloud Pool (Chiaozza): The ball pit of our childhoods is reimagined with purple foam blocks and beach balls.
Dreamer’s Den (Juno Calypso and Kat Cunning): The first step to making your dreams come true is saying them out loud, which is what Kat Cunning will do in her musical debut. Each visitor to her speakeasy will write down their dream, which she’ll turn into a song.
Erotica in Bloom (Maisie Cousins): Inside this enchanting drape of flowers, you’ll find giant bulbs. Stick your head inside and find yourself inside the sensual world of a woman’s flower (if you will).
The Future is Female (Madame Gandhi and Jen Mussari): Take out your frustrations with the patriarchy on hand-painted punching bags.
Gender Neutral (Jill Soloway’s Topple and Xavier Schipani): The high school bathroom is reimagined with graffiti that turns it into an inclusive space for all genders.
Glacé Getaway (Juicy Couture): Escape to the frozen tropics with this snowglobe on a beach, echoing the warm-cold notes of Viva La Juicy’s new Glacé fragrance.
Harmony (Chloe x Halle and Benjamin Shine): This rotating sculpture reveals the Beyonce prodigies’ faces only at certain angles to “celebrate the duality of the physical and spiritual connection” of sisterhood.
Hear Our Voice (Women’s March): Keep up the activist spirit from the Women’s March in this gallery of works created with Refinery29 and Amplifier, then write your own message to your representative on postcards.
Just Be (Ashlee Haze, Jonathan Rosen and Wallplay): Check your preconceived notions at the door and be surrounded by affirmations of your humanity as you stand in front of a mirror with the phrase “I am” and a scroll of words like “bodiless” and “the destination.”
Laugh-O-Matic (Sasheer Zamata): This delightful exhibit creates a foam car wash that cleanses your soul with the sound of laughter all around you.
Light It Up (Symmetry Labs): A stack of LED cubes brings your movements to life in light with the magic of motion-sensor tech.
Love Walk (Aldo): A runway surrounded by a spiral of footwear and all themed to love is the perfect expression of how we feel every time we put on a new pair of shoes.
Move and Be Moved (Lizzo): Throw on some headphones and rock out in this disco dance hall.
Neurospeculative Afrofeminism (Hyphen-Labs): This virtual reality experience imagines a world of empowered black women — why is this not our world yet?
Ocean of Creativity (Jee Young Lee): A boat is lost in a sea of plastic and other garbage as paper mache seagulls fly overhead.
Seen & Unseen (Juco): See your aura and imagine the possibilities of the un-seeable.
Show Face (Short Cuts): Your face becomes the canvas for funky light projections “to give beauty a purpose.”
Shred It (Jake Gyllenhaal): Inspired by Gyllenhaal’s new film “Stronger,” let go of what’s weighing you down by writing it on a sheet of paper the putting it through a manual shredder. Ahhh.
Sonic Spin (Dyson): Dyson turns its Supersonic hairdryer into wind power for flowers made of pinwheels.
Tales We Tell (Emma Roberts & Karah Preiss): A larger-than-life typewriter and quotes by female authors remind us to value the words of those who have come before while creating our own.
The Beauty Carousel (Ulta Beauty): Launching their first Manhattan store this fall, Ulta is celebrating with a rideable carousel of beauty products.
The Womb (Cleo Wade): For anyone needing to feel reborn, crawl inside this tent designed to feel like a mother’s womb, curl up on a beanbag and listen to some meditative poetry.