FAQ

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Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

What are Portals?

Portals Vision & Operations

Portals are interconnected, immersive audiovisual environments.
When you enter one portal, you come face to face with someone in a distant portal and can speak to them live, as if in the same room.
Shared_Studios maintains a network of Portals around the world and connects these spaces to one another for dialogues, performances, and collaborative activities.
These connections build familiarity, empathy, and understanding between communities.
Portals come in multiple forms including free-standing modules in rooms, repurposed shipping containers, inflatables, and custom structures.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

What is the goal of Portals?

Portals Vision & Operations

We have remarkable technology at our fingertips today, but too often this technology drives us deeper into our own closed communities. We connect with those we already know and read articles that resonate with our own worldview.
Portals counteract these phenomena. They combine the connective potential of the internet with the intimacy of a face-to-face conversation, and provide the opportunity to connect with someone new.
Whether separated by distance, perceived difference, or both, Portals bring people together for intentional and meaningful conversations. Portals provide participants an opportunity, a reason, and a context to share a space and experience.
Participants can step outside of their comfort zones and speak openly with strangers, simultaneously reshaping their own beliefs and rediscovering how to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

What is the long-term vision for Portals?

Portals Vision & Operations

We are building a global civic infrastructure. Our aim is to link communities around the world through a network of thousands of portals. This network of immersive spaces will become a public square for the 21st century where people everywhere can share their stories, learn from one another, and collaborate.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

How does translation work?

Programming & Curation

All portals are staffed by local community members called Curators who operate the pPortal and facilitate conversations between portal participants.
At sites where English is not the primary local language, Curators are responsible for translating from local languages to English or vice-versa.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

What is a Curator and what do they do?

Programming & Curation

Curators connect the portal to the world and to their local community. They staff the portal and are present for all connections where they translate, support, and facilitate encounters in the portal to make sure all participants are comfortable and engaged.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

How do you create the Portal schedule?

Programming & Curation

In the months leading up to a Portal placement, Shared_Studios works with the host site and stakeholders from the surrounding community to develop a Portal schedule.
We factor in domestic and international sites of interest; local site operation and logistics; and the variety and frequency of programming.
Each Portal schedule is tailored to the site, ensuring that all sites engage the global network in a way that is relevant and interesting to them.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

How many people can fit in the Portal at one time? Can I bring a group to the Portal?

Portal Logistics & Specs

A Portal Container can fit up to 8 individuals at a time, while the Portal Inflatable can fit up to 6. Portal Rooms vary and can accomodate more than 8 individuals.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

What will the Portal require from a host site?

Portal Logistics & Specs

Shared_Studios requests that host sites provide dedicated power and internet with a minimum of 5mbps upload and download. Faster speeds result in better resolution and performance.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

Is it safe to leave the Portal unattended at night?

Portal Logistics & Specs

Portal Containers can be locked and are secured against damage or theft. Portal Inflatables are only set up indoors.

Cultural Institution
Nonprofit
Media
University
Event

Can we connect to multiple sites at once?

Portal Logistics & Specs

While it is possible for multiple Portals to connect to one another at once, we do not recommend this because the Portal experience is built around point-to-point connections that give participants the feeling of sharing the same room.
Instead, we recommend scheduling back to back connections with different sites in sequence.

Enterprise
K-12
University
Nonprofit
Public Space

How much lead time is required to launch a new Portal?

Portal Logistics & Specs

We require at least three months to launch a Portal. This time is used to coordinate logistics and programming. For shorter timelines, a rush fee may apply.

K-12
University

How do I integrate the Portal into my curriculum?

Programming & Curation

Shared_Studios provides a range of programmed Portal experiences around themes such as climate change, culture, migration and innovation. Shared_Studios can create custom programming for schools as well. Please reach out to discuss this.